Jumat, 05 Desember 2008

Speaking Practice

Reading / Speaking Comprehension Dialogues

By Kenneth Beare

These reading comprehension / dialogues provide an opportunity for both reading and speaking practice. Each dialogue is also followed by a multiple choice quiz for comprehension practice. Each dialogue is listed under the appropriate level with a short introduction regarding target areas for speaking practice.

Beginner - Lower Intermediate

The City and the Country - Comparative form, as ... as

Interview with a Famous Actor - Daily routines, present simple

What's in Your Office? - Use of there is / there are, prepositions and office furniture vocabulary

What Were You Doing? - Use of the past continuous in combination with the past simple

The Oregon Weather Forecast - Use of the future with will for predictions, weather vocabulary

A Business Presentation - Use of the present perfect

A Business Traveler - Speaking about likes and dislikes with like, enjoy

An Interview - Superlative Forms

Introductions - Basic questions used when meeting someone for the first time.

Filling in a Form - Basic personal information questions (name, address, etc.)

The Meeting - Schedules, future plans.

A New Office - This, that, some and any with objects.

Cooking - Daily routines and hobbies.

A Great Workout - Abilities with 'can', making suggestions.

A Busy Day - Plans for the day, responsibilities with 'have to'.

Today's Special - Ordering food in a restaurant.

Planning a Party - Future with 'will' and 'going to'

Beginner - Lower Intermediate

Dialogue: The City and the Country
The City and the Country

David: How do you like living in the big city?
Maria: There are many things that are better than living in the country!

David: Can you give me some examples?
Maria: Well, it certainly is more interesting than the country. There is so much more to do and see!

David: Yes, but the city is more dangerous than the country.
Maria: That's true. People in the city aren't as open and friendly as those in the countryside.

David: I'm sure that the country is more relaxed, too!
Maria: Yes, the city is busier than the country. However, the country is much slower than the city.

David: I think that's a good thing!
Maria: Oh, I don't. The country is so slow and boring! It's much more boring than the city.

David: How about the cost of living? Is the country cheaper than the city?
Maria: Oh, yes. The city is more expensive than the country.

David: Life in the country is also much healthier than in the city.
Maria: Yes, it's cleaner and less dangerous in the country. But, the city is so much more exciting. It's faster, crazier and more fun than the country.

David: I think YOU are crazy for moving to the city.
Maria: Well, I'm young now. Maybe when I'm married and have children I'll move back to the country.

Dialogue: Interview with a Famous Actor
Interview with a Famous Actor

Interviewer: Thank you for taking some time off from your busy schedule to answer a few questions about your life!
Brad: It's my pleasure.

Interviewer: Could you tell us about an average day in your life?
Brad: Sure, I get up early - at 7 in the morning. Then I have breakfast. After breakfast, I go to the gym.

Interviewer: Are you studying anything now?
Brad: Yes, I'm learning a new film called "The Man About Town".

Interviewer: What do you do in the afternoon?
Brad: First I have lunch, then I go to the studio and shoot some scenes.

Interviewer: Which scene are you acting today?
Brad: I'm acting a scene about an angry lover.

Interviewer: That's very interesting. What do you do in the evening?
Brad: In the evening, I go home and have dinner and study my scripts.

Interviewer: Do you go out at night?
Brad: Not always, I like going out at weekends.

Dialogue: What's in Your Office?
What's in Your Office?

David: I've got a new office now…
Maria: That's great! Congratulations.

David: I'll need a desk and some cabinets. How many cabinets are there in your office?
Maria: I think there are four cabinets in my office.

David: And do you have any furniture in your office? I mean other than the chair at your desk.
Maria: Oh yes, I've got a sofa and two comfortable armchairs.

David: Are there any tables in your office?
Maria: Yes, I've got a table in front of the sofa.

David: Is there a computer in your office?
Maria: Oh yes, I keep a laptop on my desk next to the phone.

David: Are there any flowers or plants in your office?
Maria: Yes, there are a few plants near the window.

David: Where's your sofa?
Maria: The sofa is in front of the window, between the two armchairs.

David: Thanks a lot for your help Janet. This gives me a good idea of how to arrange my office.
Maria: My pleasure. Good luck with your decorating!

Dialogue: What Were you Doing?
What Were You Doing?

Betsy: I telephoned you yesterday afternoon but you didn't answer? Where were you?
Brian: I was in another room when you called. I didn't hear the phone ringing until it was too late.

Betsy: What were you working on?
Brian: I was photocopying a report that I needed to send to a client. What were you doing when you telephoned?

Betsy: I was looking for Tom and couldn't find him. Do you know where he was?
Brian: Tom was driving to a meeting.

Betsy: Oh, I see. What did you do yesterday?
Brian: I met the representatives from Driver's in the morning. In the afternoon, I worked on the report and was just finishing when you telephoned. What did you do?

Betsy: Well, at 9 I had a meeting with Ms Anderson. After that, I did some research.
Brian: Sounds like a boring day!

Betsy: Yes, I don't really like doing research. But it needs to be done.
Brian: I agree with you on that, no research - no business!

Betsy: Tell me about the report. What do you think of it?
Brian: I think the report is a good. Tom believes it's good, too.

Betsy: I know that every report you write is excellent.
Brian: Thank you Betsy, you are always a good friend!

Dialogue:The Oregon Weather Forecast
The Oregon Weather Forecast

Weather Forecaster: Good afternoon and welcome to the weather forecast. Let's take a look at the weather outside now. What's it like? Well, it's currently raining and cloudy in southern Oregon while northern Oregon is cold and clear. The sun is shining, but it's rather cold up here in the North! The temperature is currently 45 degrees in the southern Oregon and only 30 degrees in the North.

Shall we see what the weather will be like tomorrow? Well, it will be rainy in the morning in southern Oregon and windy in northern Oregon. In the afternoon, The South will see cloudy weather with some rain later in the day. Northern Oregon will also see rain turning to snow and quite windy, with winds coming from the North-East.

That's the weather forecast for this afternoon. Have a good day!

Dialogue: A Business Presentation
On a Business Trip - A Presentation

Betsy: Hi Brian, this is Betsy. How are you doing?
Brian: I've just returned from the Head Office. The weather is great! Boston is a great city!

Betsy: Have you met Frank yet?
Brian: No, I haven't seen him yet. We have a meeting at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. We are going to meet then.

Betsy: Have you made your presentation yet?
Brian: Yes, I made the presentation yesterday afternoon. I was very nervous, but everything went well.

Betsy: Has management given you any feedback yet?
Brian: Yes, I've already met with the sales director. We met immediately after the meeting and he was impressed with our work.

Betsy: That's great Brian. Congratulations! Have you visited any museums yet?
Brian: No, I'm afraid I haven't had any time yet. I hope to take a tour around town tomorrow.

Betsy: Well, I'm happy to hear that everything is going well. I'll talk to you soon.
Brian: Thanks for calling Betsy. Bye.

Betsy: Bye.

Dialogue: A Business Traveller
A Business Traveller

Interviewer: Good morning Sir. I'd like to ask you a few questions if I may.
Jack: Well, I'm waiting to catch my flight so I guess I can answer a few questions.

Interviewer: Thank you Sir. First of all, how often do you travel?
Jack: I travel about twice a month.

Interviewer: Where are you flying to on this trip?
Jack: I'm flying to Austin, Texas.

Interviewer: … and where did you fly on your last trip?
Jack: I flew to Portland, Oregon. I've already been there three times!

Interviewer: Really! Do you enjoy travelling for business?
Jack: Yes, although I prefer staying in the office.

Interviewer: What do you like most about travelling? Jack: I like visiting new cities and trying out new food.

Interviewer: Is there anywhere you would like to visit that you haven't visited yet? Jack: Yes, I'd like to go to Hawaii! I love going to the beach!

Interviewer: Thank you very much for your time today.
Jack: You're welcome. My pleasure.

Dialogue: An Interview at the Shopping Mall
An Interview at the Shopping Mall

Interviewer: Good evening, I hope you don't mind answering a few questions.
Alice: How long will it take?

Interviewer: Just a few questions.
Alice: I guess I can manage to answer a few questions. Go ahead.

Interviewer: I'd like to ask your opinion about consumer electronics. As far as consumer electronics is concerned, which is the most reliable brand?
Alice: I'd say that Samsung is the most reliable brand.

Interviewer: Which brand is the most expensive?
Alice: Well, Samsung is also the most expensive brand. I guess that's why it's the best.

Interviewer: Which brand do you think is the worst?
Alice: I think LG is the worst. I really can't remember using any of their products that I liked.

Interviewer: And which brand is the most popular with young people?
Alice: That's a difficult one to answer for me. I think that Sony is probably the most popular with young people.

Interviewer: One last question, Have you tried using any HP products?
Alice: No, I haven't. Are they good?

Interviewer: I enjoy using them. But I didn't stop you to tell you what I think. Thank you for your time.
Alice: Not at all.

Dialogue and Multiple Choice Questions: Introductions
(At a party)

Peter: Hello.
(At a party)

Peter: Hello.
Jane: Hi!

Peter: My name is Peter. What's your name?
Jane: My name is Jane. Nice to meet you.

Peter: It's a pleasure. This is a great party!
Jane: Yes, it is. Where are you from?

Peter: I'm from Amsterdam.
Jane: Amsterdam? Really, are you German?

Peter: NO, I'm not German. I'm Dutch.
Jane: Oh, you're Dutch. Sorry about that.

Peter: That's OK. Where are you from?
Jane: I'm from London, but I'm not British.

Peter: No, what are you?
Jane: Well, my parents were Spanish, so I'm Spanish, too.

Peter: That's very interesting. Spain is a beautiful country.
Jane: Thank you. It IS a wonderful place.

Dialogue: Personal Information

Personal Information

(Two friends filling in a form together)

Jim: Your painting is fantastic Roger!
Roger: I'm happy you like it. It's for a competition. Here's the form.

Jim: Right. OK, here are the questions.... Your hands are dirty.
Roger: ... from painting! What are the questions? Here's a pen (gives him a pen to fill the form in)

Jim: What's your name?
Roger: oh, that's difficult ... Roger!

Jim: Ha, ha. What's your surname?
Roger: I'm not sure ...

Jim: Very funny! OK, surname - Tailor
Roger: Yes, that's it!

Jim: Next question please. Are you married or single?
Roger: Single. I'm sure about that!

Jim: What's your address?
Roger: 72 London Road.

Jim:... and what are your hobbies?
Roger: hmmm.... painting, going windsurfing and watching TV.

Jim: ... OK, last question. What's your telephone number?
Roger: 0343 897 6514

Jim: 0343 897 6514 - Got it. Where's an envelope?
Roger: Over there ...

Dialogue: The Meeting

The Meeting

(Two workers in an office)

James: Hi Alice. How are you today?
Alice: Hi James. I'm fine, and you?

James: Great, thank you. Remember, the meeting is at 3 o'clock.
Alice: Excuse me, which meeting?

James: Which meeting?! The meeting with the boss!
Alice: Are you sure there is a meeting today?

James: Alice, Alice, every month there is a meeting with the boss. This month that meeting is this afternoon.
Alice: Calm down. OK, there's a meeting this afternoon. What time is it?

James: Alice, this is important. The meeting is at three o'clock sharp!
Alice: Thank you James... By the way, what time is it now?

James: It's quarter past eleven.
Alice: It's time for lunch!

James: Lunch, now? Lunch time is at twelve.
Alice: Well, I'm hungry now.

James: You're funny Alice. This is an office.
Alice: I'm hungry ... it's just a snack ...

Beginner Dialogue: A New Office

A New Office

(In an office)

Jennifer: (speaking to Bob who is outside the office) Hi Bob, come in. This is my new office!
Bob: Wow, it's great. There's so much furniture. A sofa, armchair ...

Jennifer: How about my desk. Isn't it beautiful?
Bob: Yes, look at that. Is that a new computer?

Jennifer: Yes, it is. The latest model!
Bob: ... but there aren't any windows in here.

Jennifer: No, no, there are some windows. They're over there.
Bob: Is that New Times magazine on your desk?

Jennifer: Yes, it is. There are some more copies in the cupboard.
Bob: It's a great magazine. I love it.

Jennifer: Yes, lots of good information. Would you like a cup of coffee?
Bob: Sure, is there a coffee maker here, too?

Jennifer: Yes, there is. There's everything in THIS office.
Bob: You're lucky!

Jennifer: Yes, I am. You're welcome anytime, now let's make that coffee...

Beginner Dialogue: Cooking


(At a friend's house)

Carol: This is a lovely house!
Martha: Thank you. Carol, we call it home.

Carol: It's very close to work, isn't it?
Martha: Yes, it is. I always walk to work - even when it rains!

Carol: I usually take the bus. It takes so long!
Martha: How long does it take?

Carol: Oh, it takes about 20 minutes.
Martha: That is a long time. Well, have some cake.

Carol: (taking a bite of some cake) this is delicious! Do you bake all of your own cakes?
Martha: Yes, I usually bake something at the weekend. I like having sweets in the house.

Carol: You're a wonderful cook!
Martha: Thank you, it's nothing really.

Carol: I never cook. I'm just hopeless. My husband, David, usually does all the cooking.
Martha: Do you often go out to eat?

Carol: Yes, when he doesn't have time to cook, we go out to eat somewhere.
Martha: There are some wonderful restaurants in the city.

Carol: Too many! You can eat at a different restaurant every day. Monday - Chinese, Tuesday - Italian, Wednesday - Mexican, on and on ...

Beginner Dialogue: Weekend Sports

A Great Workout

(Two friends at the gym)

Janet: Wow, this gym is great! What a fantastic workout!
Susan: Yes, I like coming here very much. What other sports can you do?

Janet: Well, I can play tennis, I can do a little karate and I go windsurfing in the summer.
Susan: You're very fit! I can't do many sports. I like coming to the gym because the exercises are easy.

Janet: Listen, I have an idea. Why don't you come to karate class with me?
Susan: No, I can't do karate...

Janet: ... but you can learn! Karate is a great sport. How about coming with me on Saturday?
Susan: well, .... OK.

Janet: Great, why don't we meet at my house at 10 in the morning?
Susan: Sure, that's a good idea. (changing subjects) By the way, what other hobbies do you have?

Janet: I like going to the cinema, and reading a little.
Susan: Do you like cooking, or baking?

Janet: No, I can't cook. I'm a horrible cook!
Susan: Oh, I love cooking. I tell you what. Why don't I cook lunch after karate class?

Janet: Now that's a great idea!
Susan: OK, karate and lunch on Saturday. It's a date!

Beginner Dialogue: A Busy Day

A Busy Day

(two friends speaking in a park when they meet each other jogging)

Barbara: Hi, Katherine, how are you today?
Katherine: I'm great and you?

Barbara: VERY busy! I'm jogging now, but later I have to do a lot!
Katherine: What do you have to do?

Barbara: Well, first of all, I have to do the shopping. We don't have anything to eat at home.
Katherine: ... and then?

Barbara: Little Johnny has a basketball game this afternoon. I'm driving him to the game.
Katherine: Oh, how is his team doing?

Barbara: They're doing very well. Next week, they're travelling to Toronto for a tournament.
Katherine: That's impressive.

Barbara: Well, Johnny likes playing basketball. I'm happy he's enjoying it. What are you doing today?
Katherine: I'm not doing much. I'm meeting some friends for lunch, but, other than that, I don't have much to do today.

Barbara: You're so lucky!
Katherine: No, you're the lucky one. I'd like to have so many things to do.

Beginner Dialogue: Today's Special

Today's Special
(in a restaurant)

Waiter: Good afternoon, how can I help you today?
Jennifer: I'd like a table for one, please.

Waiter: Right this way. (walks to table) Here you are.
Jennifer: Thank you. Can I have a menu?

Waiter: (hands a menu) Here you are. My name's Alan and I'm your waiter today. Would you like to hear today's specials?
Jennifer: Certainly.

Waiter: Well, we have a wonderful mushroom soup to start off with. Today's main course is fish and chips.
Jennifer: Fish and chips? Is the fish fresh?

Waiter: Certainly, madam. Fresh off the docks this morning.
Jennifer: Alright, I'd like the fish and chips.

Waiter: Would you like to have a starter?
Jennifer: hmmm, I'm not sure.

Waiter: Our salads are excellent, madam.
Jennifer: I'd like a green salad.

Waiter: Very good. Would you like something to drink?
Jennifer: Oh, I'd like some mineral water, please.

Waiter: OK. So that's a green salad, fish and chips and mineral water.
Jennifer: Yes, that's right.

Waiter: Thank you and enjoy your lunch.
Jennifer: Thank you.

Dialogue and Multiple Choice Questions: Planning a Party

By Kenneth Beare
Planning a Party

(two neighbors talking)

Martha:...What horrible weather today. I'd love to go out, but I think it will just continue raining.
Jane:Oh, I don't know. Perhaps the sun will come out later this afternoon.

Martha:I hope you're right. Listen, I'm going to have a party this Saturday. Would you like to come?
Jane:Oh, I'd love to come. Thank you for inviting me. Who's going to come to the party?

Martha:Well, a number of people haven't told me yet. But, Peter and Mark are going to help out with the cooking!
Jane:Hey, I'll help, too!

Martha:Would you? That would be great!
Jane:I'll make lasagna!

Martha:That sounds delicious! I know my Italian cousins are going to be there. I'm sure they'll love it.
Jane:Italians? Maybe I'll bake a cake...

Martha:No, no. They're not like that. They'll love it.
Jane:Well, if you say so... Is there going be a theme for the party?

Martha:No, I don't think so. Just a chance to get together and have fun.
Jane:I'm sure it'll be lots of fun.

Martha:But I'm going to hire a clown!
Jane:A clown! You're kidding me.

Martha:No, no. As I child, I always wanted a clown. Now, I'm going to have my clown at my own party.
Jane:I'm sure everyone will have a good laugh.

Martha:That's the plan!

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