Week 38 Sunday, September 17, 2023

Guild Logo Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Debate Topic 

Be it resolved that computer scientists, engineers, architects, analysts should be licensed by a professional body or able to self-organize into a guild or union so that they have legal and ethical independence from their employers.

Pre-Salon Reading (You could google the questions below.) 

What is the purpose of professional licensing? What are the benefits?
What is the purpose of a union What are the benefits?

Vocabulary (You could look up these terms in a dictionary or tools like FLAX or Sketch Engine.)

Accreditation, an accredited organization, an accredited member, guild, unions, Hippocratic Oath, certification, a certified member, professional licensing, a licensed professional, corporate social responsibility, compliance

Discussion Questions (These are questions you can ask me or other guests in the Salon.)

  1. Should IT professionals be licensed? 
  2. Are IT professionals free to speak up about concerns? 
  3. Have you ever been in a union? Would you want to be?
  4. Should IT professionals PD hours (like doctors, lawyers, teachers) to learn skills and knowledge they might not get from their employers?
  5. Would it benefit Canadian society and our economy for IT professionals to take a Hippocratic Oath? 

Best ways to use Discussion Questions to build Band 9 proficiency in IELTS Speaking

I’ve shared long lists of detailed Discussion Questions on this blog. Here is how these discussion question lists have been used to push yourself to seek out more precise language and employ a wider range of grammatical structures. The key is to recycle the vocabulary in different exercises.

These Discussion Questions cross-reference with topics in Part 1 and Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking exam, and provide extension opportunities in grammatical range and lexical resource.

First, you can choose ten (or five or even just three) of the discussion questions. Write a detailed answer to that question using 150 to 200 words. Brainstorm your answer in your first language first if that makes it easier.

Then translate what you wrote — sentence by sentence into English, as best you can, using translators but also word-building online tools like FLAX and SKETCH ENGINE.

Read your writing out loud after you have your first draft. You might be surprised at how effective your spoken fluency can be to help you self-assess your own writing.

How accurate does it sound, or not? What’s wrong? Is each tense the best choice? Where do you need someone to give you some ways to say what you’re trying to say? (This is micro-teaching, by the way. The right solution when and where you need it.)

If you’ve been immersed in English through podcasts, Youtube videos, online interactive 1:1 lessons, extensive reading you can incorporate some of your target vocabulary collection into your answers.

(Do you have a target vocabulary collection? Which vocabulary chunks do you invest time and effort to activate? Where do you store new vocabulary chunks? In a google document? In a notebook? In a Note? On post-its on your fridge? An app?)

Bring your writing to your teacher and let her reformulate your sentences. Carefully notice what she changes, and why. Read about what noticing means in the context of language acquisition.

You’ll see patterns in the mistakes that you make and how your writing is reformulated into more standard expressions.

In many ways, the journey from CEFR B2 to mastery means refining your feel for how more fluent writers and speakers put thoughts into words.

Once you have a perfected response from your teacher or a friend, read it out loud to perfect the pronunciation.

Rewrite the sentence a few times, especially if you typed it the first time.

Do some transformation drills of sentences that were overhauled to develop some automaticity in producing those new chunks.

Commit it to memory. Practice recalling it perfectly. Recycling the corrected structures and new vocabulary chunks will help cement it in your memory. Discussion questions that call on your existing memories and past experiences connect the new language to what is already in your mind. This is efficient and effective.

Discussion Questions #5 NEIGHBOURHOOD  

Keywords / Subtopics: transportation (roads, highways), facilities, amenities, leisure, public transit (LTR, buses, subways, streetcars), housing, quality of life, standard of living

  1. Where is the most popular district for restaurants in the city where you live? Are there neighborhoods that tend to have a lot of residents who speak the same language or who are the same ethnicity? Is there a Little Italy or Korea Town?
  2. Do you know how old the buildings are in your neighbourhood?
  3. What industries are there now? Has that changed over the last couple of decades?
  4. Are you on the water? Are you greenspace? Are there enough trees? Are there any pests like raccoons or cicadas or bears?
  5. How is public transit in your town?  Is it affordable?  How easy is it to get around?
  6. What is the busiest or main intersection near you?
  7. Do you have a park or playground nearby?  A university? 
  8. Is it important for you to be within walking or driving range of a museum? A fitness centre?  A Smart Centre? A gas station?
  9. Are there are co-ops in your town?  For example, a co-operative natural food store? A housing co-operative?
  10. What highways run through your town, or nearby? What highways do you travel on? Are there toll highways where you live?
  11. How is the housing market?  Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Is there enough housing for all price ranges and lifestyles?
  12. If you could add or change something in your town, what would it be?
  13. Trace a path from your front door to the entrance of a place you often go to that is within walking distance of your home. 
  14. Would you rather live in the suburbs or downtown? What types of homes are there where you live? Skyscraper condos, townhouses, freehold houses, multi-plex?

    Read how to use these realistic, vocabulary-rich, topic-specific discussion questions to improve your IELTS speaking and writing results.