What is the difference between a banjo and a guitar?

a/ A guitar has strings, a banjo doesn't

 b/ The sound of a banjo is not as mellow and has a limited range

c/ A banjo is a crude instrument; a guitar is more sophisticated

d/ A banjo is made of wood and a guitar is usually electronic

What is another name for a harmonica?

a/ a mouth piece

b/ a monica

c/ a hand organ

d/ a mouth organ

Where did the harmonica originally come from?

a/ Germany

b/ France

c/ Africa

d/ Spain

Who brought the harmonica to America?

a/ The black slaves

b/ The Spanish conquistadors

c/ The German immigrants

d/ The early pioneers

How can one describe the sound of a harmonica?

a/ It is a jittery sound

b/ It is a melancholic sound

c/ It is a mellow sound

d/ It is a high-pitched sound

What trend brought about a renewed interest in guitars in the 60s on college campuses?

a/ The growing interest in electronic music

b/ The revival of interest in folk music

c/ Popularity of rock and roll groups

d/The growth of student activity on campuses


Speaking Tasks


1. Vegans are people who do not eat meat, dairy, or any animal products at all, including eggs. What reasons might a person have for becoming vegan? Do you think veganism is a good lifestyle choice? Why or why not? Imagine a vegan friend is coming to dinner. What would you serve?


2. One of the main reasons people study foreign languages is so they can travel around the world.

What word or phrase do you think is the most important to know when travelling in a foreign country? Why? What is the biggest challenge for a traveller who does not speak the local language? How do people communicate when they don’t speak each other’s language?


3. Young people play computer games now more than ever. Some people say that computer games can be bad for a child’s development. Do you agree with this opinion? What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing computer games? Do you think parents should limit the amount of time their children play on the computer?


4. Most scientists around the world believe that global warming is caused by the actions of humans. However, there are a few people who say global warming is not caused by humans. What would you say to those people? Are you convinced that global warming is a serious problem? What do you think caused global warming, and why?



5.  A foreign visitor has only one day to spend in your country. Where should this visitor go on that day? What dishes should he or she eat? What souvenirs should the visitor take back to his or her country?


6. Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources, such as forests, animals, or clean water. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. How have humans affected this natural resource? Can the situation be improved or has too much damage been done already? Defend your opinion.


7.  Characters like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are popular among children in the United States. What magical creatures did you believe in as a child? Who told you these creatures weren’t real, and what was your reaction? Is it good for children to believe in magical creatures? Why or why not?


8. “Look before you leap” is a popular saying. Is it important to think before you act in every situation? In which situations is it most difficult to think before you act? Describe a time in your life when you did not follow this advice, and explain the consequences.



9.  Many people have exotic animals as pets–everything from birds to tigers. Are the dangers of owning exotic pets greater than the danger of keeping ordinary pets? Is it cruel for people to own exotic animals as pets? Should there be laws limiting the types of animals people can own as pets?


10.   Many people dream of being famous musicians. If you could be a famous musician, what instrument would you play? What genre of music would you play? What kind of audience would you write your music for?


11.  People often wish to be someone else. Have you ever wanted to be someone else, even for one day? Who and why? Do you think that other people ever want to be you? Explain? Does wishing to be someone else make your life better or worse? Explain.


12.   Some would say it is important to have many friends, while others would argue that it is better to have a small group of friends. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a large group of friends? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a smaller group of friends? Do you feel it is more important to have many friends or few? Why?



13.  Imagine that Ukraine has decided to colonize a new planet and you have been selected as one of five Ukrainians to go into space. If you could take only five things with you, what would you take? What would you miss most about Ukraine? What are the first three things you would do on the new planet?


14.   Imagine you are in possession of a time machine that allows you to travel ONLY back in time. To what period of history would you travel? What would you do there? If your presence could change the course of events, what would you want to change and why?



15.   School uniforms are becoming more popular in both Ukrainian and American schools, but students don’t always seem to like them. In your opinion, why are more and more schools requiring uniforms? What effects do uniforms have on students, teachers, and education? Why do people in certain professions have to wear uniforms? Is this a good or bad thing and why?


16.   Many people play sports because they are fun and help us stay in shape. What do you think are the two best reasons to play sports? What can we learn from playing sports, either on a team or individually? What life lessons have you learned from playing sports?



17.  Talk about a holiday that is celebrated in another country. What are the most important or interesting parts of this holiday? Is the holiday celebrated in Ukraine as well? How is it the same or different? If not, why. Is there a similar holiday in Ukraine?


18.   Books have a positive influence on many peoples’ lives. What childhood books influenced you most? What do you think are the most important elements of a good story? If you could be any character from literature, who would you be and why?



19.    Many school subjects are considered more important than others. What do you think they are, and how do students benefit from taking these classes? Are physical education and art considered to be important? Why or why not? What new subjects would you like to have introduced at your school?


20.   Many young people have role models they admire. Who do you think is a good role model for young people in your country? Why? Would you consider yourself to be a role model? Explain. Do you consider your role model to be successful? Does success depend on individual effort or on luck? Why?


21.   Imagine you are friends with a time traveller. Your friend has just arrived in 2010 from 100 years ago. What will be the biggest surprises for your new friend? How will you help guide your friend through modern life? Explain. What challenges will you and your friend face?


22.  You have been chosen to create a new musical group. You will be in charge of creating the group’s image and sound. What kind of music will your group perform? Why? How will you select your performers, and where will you find them? What will you call your new group?


23.   In the Harry Potter fantasy series, pupils at Hogwarts School are separated into four houses by a magical hat that can see into their minds. The bravest are sent to Gryffindor, the cleverest to Ravenclaw, the hardworking and loyal to Hufflepuff, and the cunning and resourceful to Slytherin. Do you think any of the above characteristics are better or worse than the others? Is one house ‘the best’? If you were to try on the hat, in which house do you think you would fit? Why? If everyone in your school was sorted like this, how would that change the divisions of class groups?


24.   Many people think that parents are the most important role models. Are your parents your role models? If not, who are your role models? What qualities do you feel are important in a good role model? What responsibilities do role models have?


25.    Imagine that you are the owner of a new restaurant. What type of restaurant would you like to own? For what three dishes would your restaurant be known? What issues do you have to keep in mind when owning and operating a restaurant?


26.  Imagine that in your city an old, historical building is being considered for demolition in order to make way for a modern facility. Should your city try to preserve its old, historic building or replace it with a modern building? Would the city benefit more from an old building or a modern facility? How much importance should be given to historical sites?


27.  “People behave differently when they wear different clothes.” Do you agree or disagree with the above statement? What kinds of different clothes do you wear, and does it influence your behaviour? How can someone’s appearance affect the way people judge them?


28.   Holidays are an important time to spend with friends and family. What is your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate this holiday? What traditions do you and your family, and/or friends, have?


29.   Eating organic food (food grown without chemicals) has become very popular. Why do people prefer organic food to inorganic food? How have supermarkets and fast food restaurants responded to this trend? Do you think this trend will last? Why or why not?


30.   Many people have a ‘dream profession,’ or a job that they would love to have throughout their lives. What is your ‘dream profession’? Why would you choose this profession over others? What steps would you have to take to become a member of this profession?


31.   Some people argue that the content of mainstream media such as TV, movies, video games, and the Internet has a negative influence on young people. Do you think that mainstream media negatively influences young people? What are some positive and negative aspects of the content of these media? If there are negative effects, what can we do to combat them?


32.  Because of increasing globalization, many cultures have started to lose some of their own traditions while gaining those of others. What do you think about this phenomenon? How important are your cultural traditions to you? What are the disadvantages of losing your own cultural traditions? What are the advantages of knowing the culture and traditions of others?



33.  The film industry is currently releasing a series of new films, many of which were originally books. Some say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but others believe that nothing can replace a good book. Do you think that classic books should be made into films? How do books benefit from being made into films? What do they lose?


34.  You probably have a mobile phone, but your parents probably did not have mobile phones when they were teenagers. How do you think technology has changed communication throughout history? Do you think that technology is capable of changing personal relationships? In what directions do you see telecommunications technology and human interactions moving in the future?



35.   You are appointed the director of your school for a day. What issues might you face as a director? What changes, if any, would you make to your school and your school’s routine? Do you think that being a school director is an easy or difficult job? Why or why not?


36.  A ‘Round the World’ ticket is a special deal most major airlines offer. With it, a passenger can choose multiple destinations and fly between them for one set price as long as he or she travels in one direction. Design your own trip and choose three to five destinations. Why would you want to go to these places? What are the advantages of seeing them all in one trip? What would you need to take with you?



37.  You interact with teachers on a daily basis. What do you think of teaching as a profession? Is it important or not? Is it hard or easy? What position do teachers occupy in society? How do you think the profession of teaching will change in your lifetime?


38.   “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” How do you interpret this American saying? What does it mean to you? What would life be like if money did grow on trees?



39.  There are some popular stories about humans being much smaller or much larger than normal. If you had to, would you rather be a miniature person or a giant? What would you do differently when you were your new size? What kind of emotions would you feel?


40.  Being an immigrant nation, America is very obviously diverse and multicultural. Ukraine may have fewer visible differences among its citizens, but Ukrainians are certainly not identical. In what ways is Ukraine diverse? How does diversity help or hurt a country? Do you wish Ukraine was more diverse, or less? Why?



41.   Online journals and blogs are becoming increasingly popular. Often, people who publish online diaries write about personal events and feelings, and allow anyone on the Internet to read them. What is the appeal of online journals? What are the consequences of publishing personal thoughts online instead of in a private diary? Do you keep a diary, online or otherwise? If not, which format would appeal to you more, and why?


42.   Television shows like “American Idol” and “Fabrika Zirok” have become incredibly popular in recent years. Ordinary people present their talents before judges and a viewing audience, and if they are well-received, they have a chance at becoming stars. What does it mean to be a ‘celebrity’ today — is talent the most important thing? Are shows like these a good way to discover unknown talent? Do all talented people have an equal chance at fame, regardless of looks, age, or status?



43.  Many actors’ and musicians’ lives take place in the spotlight. Do you believe that the public should have access to the lives of celebrities? Why? Which celebrities do you feel are the most interesting? How do celebrities influence your life and the lives of pupils at your school?


44.  The Internet has provided the world with a wonderful tool for communication. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet? How has the Internet allowed people from different cultures to interact? In what ways has the Internet changed society?



45.  A utopia is described as an ideal community or society. Describe your ideal society. Who would be invited to live in your society? Who would be excluded from your society?


46.   Imagine that you have been asked to write a travel guide for Ukraine. What clothing items would you suggest travelers pack? What cities would you recommend, and what attractions should people see in these cities? Do you think it is important that visitors to Ukraine also experience life in a village? Why? Why not?



47.  The level of medical care today is much higher than it was in the past. Doctors continue to acquire more knowledge that helps them treat patients effectively. In your opinion, what is the biggest medical advancement that has been made in the last one hundred years? In contrast, what is the biggest medical problem currently facing the world? Describe a time when you or someone you know benefited from a high level of medical care.


48.   The Olympics were held this year in Vancouver, Canada. What are your favorite Olympic events? What role do the Olympics play in international relations? Historically, have the Olympics been effective in their role?



49.   New York is called “The City That Never Sleeps.” Paris is renowned as “The City of Light.” Bangkok is known as “Sin City.” Choose one of these cities and explain why the city has such a nickname. What are the benefits for a city to be known worldwide by a nickname? Pick a city in Ukraine, give it a nickname, and explain your choice.


50.   Mother Teresa said, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” How are young people in Ukraine involved in improving their communities? What challenges do young Ukrainians face when they try to improve things person to person? What do you personally do to improve the lives of the people around you?



51.   Historically, baseball has been America’s favorite sport. Now many Americans prefer basketball or American football. Is there a favorite sport of Ukrainians? Why do Ukrainians love this sport so much? Do you think the favorite sport of Ukrainians will ever change? Explain. 


52.   Many people say that the world is becoming smaller because we now know more about each other. Because of this increase in globalization, many have argued that the world should adopt a universal language. Do you think a universal language would help international relations? How would a universal language be beneficial or detrimental to the world? What criteria would you have for a global language?



53.   It has been said that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. History plays an important role in our lives, whether we know it or not. What main lesson have you learned from history? How have you used this lesson in your life? How would society suffer were we not to heed this lesson?


54.   Natural disasters, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, can be an opportunity for bringing the world together. Why, in times of great need, do people set aside their differences to work together? Do you think there is a way for the world to come together and cooperate without any kind of disaster involved? How? How do you think human nature plays a role in this behavior?



55.   Fifty percent of the world’s population (about 3.3 billion) now lives in urban areas. Why do you think so many people want to live in cities rather than in towns or villages? Do you think the number of people living in cities will continue to increase? Why? Do you think urbanization has a positive or a negative effect on societies? Why?


56.   Drug usage is a major problem in almost every country. What kinds of negative effects does drug usage have on society? What steps can countries take to prevent drug use? Why do you think people choose to use drugs?



57.   Most people agree that eating junk food such as chips, cookies, and candy is not good for our health, yet almost everyone eats these things anyway. Do you eat junk food? Why? Which are your favorites? What other bad habits do people have that have a negative effect on their health? What would life be like if we always did what was best for us and never made poor decisions?


58.   How do you imagine city life in the future? How do you think cities will look in the future? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of living in cities in the future? Is city living a sustainable lifestyle? Explain.



59.   Technology is changing the way people read and access books. Today most books can be read in a digital format. What are the advantages and disadvantages of electronic books? Do you think that printed books will eventually be rendered obsolete? Explain. Do you prefer electronic or printed books? Explain.


60.   Think about your experience studying English. What makes studying a foreign language interesting? Is it easy or hard for you to learn English? Why? Why might it be important for students to learn English?



61.  How do you feel about recent natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.) in the news? What do you think is most important for survivors of these disasters? How can the rest of the world best help the people in devastated areas? What can people do to prepare for possible disasters in the future? What types of disasters are common in your home country?
(hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, etc.) Have you ever experienced a natural disaster? What was it like?


62.   Do you agree or disagree with the idea of banning junk food in public schools? Should people have the right to consume whatever they want, even if it might be harmful to them? Are school children mature enough to make their own decisions about what they will eat? Who is most responsible for teenagers' health? (the kids themselves, their parents, school teachers and administrators, the government) ? Should schools be allowed to accept money from businesses in exchange for promoting their products?



63.   What is the life expectancy rate in your country? For men / women? As people live longer, what difficulties do they face? What challenges must society face when dealing with a growing elderly population? Who has the primary responsibility to care for senior citizens? Who will take care of your parents (or grandparents) when they can no longer care for themselves?


64.  Do you think that Internet blogs should be regulated by the government? Should people have the right to access any information they choose on the Internet? Should "political" blogs be forced to pay fees for supporting a particular candidate? What do you think will happen if government tries to censor certain information on the Internet? What will happen if they don't?



65.   What is your attitude to a violation of laws? Do you think that men and women are punished the same for the same crimes? Why or why not? Do you think it's possible to prevent certain kinds of crimes? If so, which ones and how? What do you think are reasonable penalties for people who commit environmental crimes? Have you (or anyone you know) been the victim of a crime? What happened? What do you think of the death penalty?


66.   Many people believe that violence on television and in the movies is the cause of many of today’s problems. What is your opinion on this subject? What effects does this violence have on viewers? What solutions could you propose to make both sides of this argument happy?



67.  How much television should children be allowed to watch each day? Is watching television good for children? What types of programs are good for children? What do children learn from watching television? What problems do children have as a result of watching television?


68.   It is hard to imagine a world hundreds of years ago without all the modem conveniences we have become so accustomed to. What do you think has been the most influential invention of all time? Why? Where would we be without this invention today? If you could invent anything you wanted, what would it be, what would it do and how would it help us?



69.  What is the biggest problem you think young people in Ukraine face today? Why did you choose this problem? What do you think you can do about this problem? What, if anything, should the government do to help solve this problem?


70.   You have a choice between living in one city for the rest of your life or moving to a new city every three years. Which style of life would you choose? What are some of the reasons for this choice? If you could choose which city or cities you would live in, where would you live?



71.   The choices we make in our youth can greatly affect our adult lives. What decision have you made in your life that you think will be the most important to your future? If you could, would you change the decision you made? Why? Why not? What future decisions do you foresee needing to make?


72.  You are now in the eleventh form. Soon you will graduate from school. Looking back... What advice would you like to give to younger pupils about school life? What would you like to see changed about your school or the system of education in Ukraine? What are your goals to improve yourself in your future life at university or in your career?



73.   What bothers you most about being a teenager? Do your parents understand that you are not a “kid” anymore? Or do you feel that kids your age are being forced to grow up too fast and “be adult?”


74.  Do you think it’s more important than ever to grow your own food? Why? What’s the difference between store-bought and home-grown vegetables and fruit? Do you think that everyone should use a part of their yard to grow food instead of shrubs and grass?



75.  Why do you think recycling is important? Do you recycle and, if so, how do you and your family do it? Could you think of ways to recycle more “stuff” at home? For example, you could write about making your own compost from discarded remains from fruits and vegetables to use to fertilize your yard.


76.  Why are some animal species endangered? What are they and what happened to their environment? Are polar bears in trouble?



77.   Is adoption common in your country? What do you think of adoption? Would you adopt a child? What happens to children who are not adopted? What problems do you think might be with adoption? Do parents who adopt have the same kind of love for their adopted child as natural parents have with their child? What happens if the biological parents turn up ten years later and ask for their child back?


78.   What comes to your mind when you hear the word “adventure”? Do you like adventure? In what way is learning English an adventure for you? Who would you like to have a big adventure with? Does there have to be an element of danger in an adventure? Do you like adventure movies? Are you an adventurous person? Is adventure important in your life? What was your most unforgettable adventure?



79.   Do you think there are aliens somewhere in the universe? What do you think aliens look like? Why do you think aliens in movies and in books generally have a human shape and eyes? Do you think aliens are likely to be more or less intelligent than us? What do you think of people who say they have met or were kidnapped by aliens? Do you think aliens would prefer to communicate with us or other species? What would you do if you saw a UFO in a field near your house? If an alien visited the Earth, what would it say about our planet and people when it returned home?


80.   Do you think all children should study art at school? How great is your interest in art? Do you think children should learn history of art? Do you think painting can really be worth a million (or more) dollars? Do you have a favorite artist? What kind of art do you like – paintings, sculpture, ceramics, etc? Does art change the way you think or feel? Do you think anyone can be an artist or do you need a special talent? Do you have any artistic talent? How would the world be different without artists?



81.  How important are books to you? What would life be like without books? What kind of books do you like to read? Do you prefer paperbacks or hardbacks? If you wrote a book, what would you write about? If you could have only one book for the rest of your life what would it be and why? Do you think the Internet will make books disappear? What do you think of the idea of E-books? Do you prefer to keep the books you read? How often do you want a story in a book to never end?


82.   What springs to your mind when you hear the word “bullying”? Is bullying a big problem in our schools? Why do people bully each other? Do you think bullying is part of a crime or is it part of growing up? What kind of person is a bully? Do bullies need help? What kind? Do you think bullying will disappear some day, or is it getting worse?



83.   What is a celebrity? Do you think anyone can become a celebrity? Do you think celebrities like Oprah Winfrey deserve the millions of dollars they get paid? Why are so many people obsessed with celebrities? Would you like to be interviewed by celebrity magazine? Which celebrities would you invite to your birthday party and why? Is there any difference between a ‘celebrity’ and a ‘famous’ person? What are pros and cons of being a celebrity? Which celebrity would you like to swap the places?


84.   Thomas Merton said: “When ambition ends, happiness begins.” What do you think he means by this? Do you agree? What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘ambition’? Is it important to have ambitions? What were your ambitions when you were a child? Can ambitions be dangerous? What is the difference between an ambition and a dream? What happens when you fulfill a lifelong ambition? 


85.   Tell us about your regular diet. Have you ever been on a diet? Do you think people who go on diets get the proper nutrition their body needs? Do you think fashion industry and advertising is responsible for encouraging women to be super skinny? How important is exercising as part of a diet? Do you know anyone who is obsessed with their weight and their figure? Are there any dangers of dieting?


86.   Do you dream often? Do you believe dreams have special meaning? Has something you’ve dreamt about ever come true? Have you ever been woken up by a nightmare? What kind of people do you meet in your dreams? Do you tell other people about the dreams you have? Does having a dream affect the way you feel when you wake up? Do you think dreams can be explained scientifically? Would you like to stop having dreams or have more dreams?


87.  What do you think of pierced ears? Do you think there is a difference between a man and a woman having his/her ears pierced? Do ear-rings/studs make someone look more attractive? Why do you think people started piercing their ears? Are there any rules in your school about pierced ears? What do you think of body piercing? Do you think the body piercing fashion will continue for generations?


88.   What springs to your mind when you hear the word ‘e-mail’? How important is e-mail to you? Do you prefer writing e-mail or real letters with a pen and paper? How much time do you spend writing and reading e-mails? Do you think e-mails are fun? Do you ever receive spam mail? What do you do with it? Are you worried that governments or criminals can read your mail?


89.  What is entertainment for you? What do you do for entertainment? What home entertainment equipment do you have? Do you like entertaining friends at home? Would you like to work in the entertainment industry? What kind of person makes a good entertainer? Do you follow entertainment news on TV or Internet?


90.  Why immigration is paid so much attention to in our days? Is immigration good or bad? Do you think immigration has been successful in the USA? What do you think of the European Union’s idea of its Blue Card (similar to the USA’s Green Card)? Would you like a blue card or a green card? Would like to work and live in another country? Why? Would you report an illegal immigrant to the police? What are the benefits of immigration? Do you think immigrants should pass a test based on the language and culture of the country they want to live in?


91.  What is the greatest invention ever? What invention would you like to invent? What does ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ mean? Do you agree with it? What is the world most useless invention? Do you think the person who invented the atomic bomb was happy with his discovery? Do new inventions always create problems? Which invention is better, the Internet or electricity? Why?


92.  What kind of jobs have you had (part-time and full-time)? Are there many good job vacancies in your country? What is your dream job? Are there jobs only for women or only for men? How many jobs do you think you will have in your life? Are there any jobs you would refuse to do, regardless of the pay? Is being a rock star or a sports star a job? What do you think the job of being an English teacher is like? Does everyone have equal job opportunities in your country?



93.  What is journalism? Would you be interested in studying journalism? Is journalism a respected profession in your country? What good does the journalism do in your country? Is it always about reporting the truth? What do you think of journalists who report in war zones? What kinds of people are good at journalism? Do you think investigating journalism would be interesting for you? What do you think of paparazzi?


94.  Is juvenile crime a problem in your country? What kind of crimes do young people commit? Why has juvenile crime increased in the past decade? Should young people go to prison if they commit serious crime? How much parents are to blame if their children become criminals? What part do you think movies, the Internet and video games play in leading young people to crime? What would you do if you discovered your children had committed criminal acts?


95.  What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘knowledge’? What is the best way to increase your knowledge? Do you think people with a lot of knowledge are wise? What is better to have great imagination or lots of knowledge? Are some people born with a better ability to learn knowledge than others? Have you ever been frustrated because of lack of knowledge? Do you ever impress people with your knowledge? What is the difference between knowledge and education? People say ‘knowledge is power’ – is this true?


96.  Is laughter ‘the best medicine’? Do you ever have uncontrolled fits of laughter? Why do you think some people laugh more than others? Do men and women laugh about different things what definition would you give to laughter? Do you laugh a lot? How important is laughter in your life? Is laughter infectious/ catching? What do you think of person who bursts in laughter in public places?


97.  Why is good leadership important? Do the people automatically have leadership or must they learn it? What do you think of leadership of your country? Have you ever been in position of leadership? What leadership quality do you most admire/value? Would you like to take a course of leadership? What leadership qualities do you want or need in the future?


98.  How often do you go to the library? Do you think libraries have changed over the years? Do you like atmosphere of libraries? Would you like to work as a librarian? Why? What would happen if libraries suddenly disappeared? What do you think libraries will be like 50 years from now? Have you ever borrowed a book form the library and not returned it? How will the Internet change the function of libraries? What things about libraries do not you like? What is correct library etiquette? Do you always stick to it?


99.  Would you like to work in the movie industry? Which movie would you like to live in? What’s the best movie you’ve ever seen? Do you prefer watching movies at the cinema or on TV? Who is your favourite movie star? Who would you want to play you in a movie based on your life? Would you like a job as a movie critic? Do you prefer to watch a good movie or a good game of sport?


100. Do you like taking photographs? Do you think photography is an art? Would you prefer to be a wildlife photographer or a fashion photographer? What kind of photography do you like looking at? Do you ever go to photography exhibitions? What do you think of black and white photography? Has the Internet changed the way you use photographs?



Writing Tasks

1. It has been said, "Not everything that is learned is contained in books." Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?


2. "When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success." Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.



3. Some people think that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to have a teacher. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to develop your essay.


4. Some people believe that competitive sports are bad for children, and that sports should be played without keeping score. Do you agree with this belief? Do competitive sports cause some children to be popular and others disliked? Do competitive sports encourage cheating or aggressive behavior?



5. Some people say that the Internet provides people with a lot of valuable information. Others think access to so much information creates problems. Which view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.


6. Mobile phones have become more and more popular around the world. In some countries, people depend on mobile phones to do their daily jobs or to keep in contact with other people. But what would the world be like without mobile phones? Have the mobile phones truly improved the quality of life of those who use them? If you could invent something new, what product would you develop? Use specific details to explain why this invention is needed.


7. Woodrow Wilson once said, “Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.” Do you agree? Why or why not? How can this be applied to global politics? How can this be applied to your personal life?



8. When people need to complain about a product or poor service, some prefer to complain in writing and others prefer to complain in person. Which way do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


9. In some countries, people are no longer allowed to smoke in many public places and office buildings. Do you think this is a good rule or a bad rule? Use specific reasons and details to support your position.



10.  Nearly every nation in the world has its own flag, anthem, and emblem. What purpose do these national symbols serve? Do you identify with any national symbols? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having national symbols?


11.  Some people claim that libraries with paperback books are becoming obsolete with the developments in electronic media. Do you agree? What role will libraries play in your future and that of your peers? Can anything be done to keep libraries from becoming a thing of the past? Do you think there is any difference in information coming from the printed pages of a book rather than a computer screen?


12.  Some educators argue that every child in every school should have access to computers. Others believe that the value of computers in the classroom is overrated and that computers may actually interfere with the learning process. Which point of view do you agree with? Why? How important are computers in the classroom? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having computers in schools?


13.  Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:” People pay too much attention to the less important things in life and fail to see the larger issues”? Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.


14.  Today, our world is confronted with many challenges: poverty, hunger, disease, environmental changes, and many others. In your opinion, what is the most serious problem that society faces today? What has caused this problem? Do you think that this problem can be solved? Explain.



15.  A job should mean a job for life. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


16.  Several pieces of literature and film have discussed the possibility of time travel in which people could go back to another period in history. If you had the ability to travel back in time to an event in Ukraine's history, which would you choose and why? Would you attempt to change the course of events, and, if so, how would you change them?


17.  Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:” A zoo has no useful purpose”? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.



18.  Since the beginning of the world, millions of species of animals have died out. Despite our efforts species go extinct every day, some even before we discover them. Is it important for humanity to make sure more species don’t die out? What would happen to the world if we stopped protecting animals? What would this mean for nature and for humans? What are the benefits of biodiversity?


19.  Are famous people treated unfairly by the media? Should they be given more privacy, or is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?


20.  Different languages are spoken throughout the world every day. There are many people in the world who can understand or speak more than one language. There are also many people who can speak only their native language. Why do you think some people don’t want to learn another language? Do you think it is important to understand more than just your native language? Explain. How would the world be different if more people were multilingual? 


21.  There have been many important inventions throughout the course of human history. Which invention do you think is the most important? Do you think creating new inventions is important for humankind? Conversely, if you could erase one invention from human history, what would it be and why?


22.  If you could be a super-hero, what would your name be? What power or ability would you choose to have? Who would you choose to protect? From whom/what would you have to save them?


23.  Holidays are special times when people excitedly give and receive meaningful presents to and from loved ones signifying their love for one another. What do you think is better: to give or to receive presents? Why? What presents do you especially wish for? Why do you want these things? If you had the money or ability to give one person in the world anything, what would you give, to whom would you give it, and why?


24.  Which person has had the greatest influence on your life? Was this person in your family or outside of your family? Why was this person influential? What did this person teach you?



25.  What is the biggest problem in your town or city? How does this problem affect people's lives? How would you address the problem? How would you ask other people to help you address the problem?


26.  What is your favorite family tradition, something that is unique to your family? Why does your family follow this special tradition? How did this tradition get started in your family? Would you like to continue this tradition in the future, when you have a family of your own?


27. Talk about the greatest teacher you have ever had. Why did you choose him/her? What qualities of his/her character did you admire? Why? How did she/he influence your life? How can you use what they taught you to help others?


28.  People enjoy decorating their rooms in a way that reflects their personality. Describe your favourite room. How does this room reflect your personality? What colours are the best/ worst? Why? If you had the money to decorate your room as you wish, what would you change and why?


29.  Describe your perfect day, including location and weather. What activities would you do? With whom would you spend it? How would this day be different than every other day? Do you think it’s possible to have a perfect day? Why?


30.  Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


31.  What is a very important skill a person should learn in order to be successful in the world today? Choose one skill and use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.


32.   Some people believe that the best way of learning about life is by listening to the advice of family and friends. Other people believe that the best way of learning about life is through personal experience. Compare the advantages of these two different ways of learning about life. Which do you think is preferable? Use specific examples to support your preference.


33.   Some people trust their first impressions about a person’s character because they believe these judgments are generally correct. Other people do not judge a person’s character quickly because they believe first impressions are often wrong. Compare these two attitudes. Which attitude do you agree with? Support your choice with specific examples.


34.   Every generation of people is different in important ways. How is your generation different from your parents’ generation? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer.


35.  Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


36.  Some people believe that students should be given one long vacation each year. Others believe that students should have several short vacations throughout the year. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.


37.   Some people say that physical exercise should be a required part of every school day. Other people believe that students should spend the whole school day on academic studies. Which opinion do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.


38.  Telecommuting' refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology. Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades. How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting?


39.  The idea of going overseas for university study is an exciting prospect for many people. But while it may offer some advantages, it is probably better to stay home because of the difficulties a student inevitably encounters living and studying in a different culture. To what extent do you agree or disagree this statement? Give reasons for your answer.


40.  Human beings do not need to eat meat in order to maintain good health because they can get all their food needs from meatless products and meatless substances. A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat. Argue for or against the opinion above.


41. Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a source of revenue to many countries but its disadvantages should not be overlooked. What are some of the problems of tourism?


42.  In some countries the average worker is obliged to retire at the age of 50, while in others people can work until they are 65 or 70. Until what age do you think people should be encouraged to remain in paid employment? Give reasons for your answer.


43.  Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why they have the greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men are just as good as women at parenting. Write an essay expressing your point of view. Give reasons for your answer.


44.  The rising levels of congestion and air pollution found in most of the world cities can be attributed directly to the rapidly increasing number of private cars in use. In order to reverse this decline in the quality of life in cities, attempts must be made to encourage people to use their cars less and public transport more. Discuss possible ways to encourage the use of public transport.


45.  We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. What things will they be used for in future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits?


46.  The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy. The benefits of nuclear technology far overweigh the disadvantages. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer.


47.  In Britain, when someone gets old, they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who should be responsible for our old people? Give reasons.


48.  Art, literature, poetry, music, and theatre are among some of the most popular ways for people to express their emotions. In which of the previously mentioned ways do you best express yourself? Explain. Is it any different from how your friends express themselves? In which other ways do you express your emotions?


49.  People are often told, “Be careful what you wish for.” Why is it important for people to be careful what they wish for? Write about a time when you’ve gotten something that you wanted only to realize that you never should have wished for it. What are your current dreams or wishes? What are potential negative outcome?


50.  You have been called upon to create a new national holiday for Ukraine. What person or event do you choose to honour, and why? When would you have the holiday, and how would this affect the celebration? What traditions will be associated with this holiday? Why will this holiday appeal to citizens around the country?







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