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.)
Should IT professionals be licensed?
Are IT professionals free to speak up about concerns?
Have you ever been in a union? Would you want to be?
Should IT professionals PD hours (like doctors, lawyers, teachers) to learn skills and knowledge they might not get from their employers?
Would it benefit Canadian society and our economy for IT professionals to take a Hippocratic Oath?
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.
Keywords / Subtopics: transportation (roads, highways), facilities, amenities, leisure, public transit (LTR, buses, subways, streetcars), housing, quality of life, standard of living
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?
Do you know how old the buildings are in your neighbourhood?
What industries are there now? Has that changed over the last couple of decades?
Are you on the water? Are you greenspace? Are there enough trees? Are there any pests like raccoons or cicadas or bears?
How is public transit in your town? Is it affordable? How easy is it to get around?
What is the busiest or main intersection near you?
Do you have a park or playground nearby? A university?
Is it important for you to be within walking or driving range of a museum? A fitness centre? A Smart Centre? A gas station?
Are there are co-ops in your town? For example, a co-operative natural food store? A housing co-operative?
What highways run through your town, or nearby? What highways do you travel on? Are there toll highways where you live?
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?
If you could add or change something in your town, what would it be?
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.
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?
Keywords / Subtopics: shopping for and choosing a car, getting insurance, learning to drive, the driving test, getting and renewing a license, types of rules, the rules of the road, going on a road trip, car safety, accidents, parts of the car, traffic jams, traffic rules, highways, directions, types of vehicles, vehicle features
Do you have a car? What year is it? What’s the make and model?
Do you have PL and PD or comprehensive insurance?
How does your vehicle rate for safety? For gas mileage? For road handling?
Does your car have any special features? (sunroof, heated seats, a rear-view camera, TV screens for the kids, ABS, tinted windows, bluetooth)
What are some of the costs associated with buying and maintaining a vehicle?
Have you ever been on a road trip? What music or radio station did you listen to?
Have you ever rear-ended someone?
Have you ever been rear-ended by someone?
Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? Parking ticket?
Have you ever been pulled over?
Can you back into a parking spot? Are you good at parallel parking?
When did you get your driver’s license? How old were you when you got your driver’s license?
Tell me about your driving test. Did you take a driver education course? Did you get a discount on insurance because you passed a driver’s ed. course?
What’s the busiest road near your house? Do you live near a major intersection? Are there pedestrian walkways in your neighbourhood?
Tell me how to get from your house to the nearest supermarket.
What’s the speed limit on the roads in your neighbourhood? What is the speed limit on major arterial roads in your city?
Are there toll highways in your city?
Do you follow all ‘the rules of the road’?
What rule do a lot of drivers in your city not follow?
What types of vehicles have you had? What would you like to drive in the future?
Can you do any vehicle maintenance stuff yourself? (change the oil, rotate the tires, change a flat tire, change the air filter)
Who is the worst backseat driver you’ve ever travelled with?
Do you commute to work? What are the busiest commuter routes in your city? How long is your commute? Do you change your route based on the weather or if you’re in a hurry or not?
Do you pull over when you pass a police car or emergency vehicle on the side of the road?
Keywords / Subtopics: self-directed learning, arts & crafts, leisure time, free time, developing new skills, staying physically fit, cultural pursuits, going to tournaments and competitions, music, sports, languages, handicrafts
As far as you know, what’s the main difference between an interest, a project and a hobby?
How long have you been doing your hobbies? How long have you been interested in the projects (that) you’re working on now?
Do you dedicate a lot of time to them?
Did you take any courses connected to this?
Is it expensive? What kind of supplies do you need to buy or to have? Do you need equipment?
Are you doing it more now, or did you used to spend more time on it in the past?
Who else does this kind of thing?
How did you get into this? What got you into this?
Are there any competitions or clubs connected to this in [the area where you’re living now]?
How good are you at this?
A hobby is like some skill you’re developing. You spend time on, there is equipment or tools or supplies that you need to have. You might be producing something.
Knitting, crocheting, playing a musical instrument, making and editing videos, repairing and renovating old furniture, pottery, amateur wine-making, fishing, making quilts, working out, fixing up old cars – these are all hobbies.
A project is some short-term thing you’re working on. It’s taking up a lot of yuur time at the moment but it’s not really a hobby.
I’m taking care of my granddaughter because my son and his wife work a lot.
We are renovating the kitchen.
I am working on my resume because I want to change my job.
I’m shopping around for a new laptop.
I am taking out the garden and putting in a lawn.
I’ve been helping my sister with her new house.
These things take up time but they aren’t really ‘hobbies’ per se, right?
An interest is something you’re curious about. It’s something you spend time reading or learning about and it’s something you enjoy speaking about.
I’m interested in how to start a small business.
I’m interested in local environmental issues, especially anything about clean water and healthy rivers and lakes.
I’m really into Formula 1 car racing. I’ve been into this ever since I was in grade school.
I’ve been getting more and more interested in everything about Japanese culture.
I like food – especially vegetarian cooking and how to make healthy meals.
I read a lot about famous leaders — Presidents, CEOs, Founders.
I like watching documentaries about history and ancient cultures.
I like listening to podcasts by well-known experts in the IT field.
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