Q1. Let’s talk about where you live at the moment. Please describe the town or city where you currently live?
Answer: Yes, I’m living in Sydney at the moment. It’s a lovely city with so much to do. You can enjoy going to the beach or theme parks – like Luna Park – or visiting the famous Opera House…I’ve been there a couple of times. There’s shopping and an excellent transportation network throughout the city. I’m really enjoying Sydney at the moment.
Q2. What are you enjoying most about where you live at the moment?
Answer: I, I, think I’d have to say the beach. Yes, the beach. You see it’s always been a dream of mine to live near the ocean and I can’t believe that now I actually do! It’s great in the morning when I wake up – I head down to the beach for a walk or a swim…I’ve even recently taken up surfing! That’s a difficult sport to do! There are so many variables – the size of the waves, the current – the natural conditions. And then there’s the actual fitness required to paddle out to the sea and then the balance to actually stand up on the board…I’m amazed that anyone can surf, actually! Anyway, I’m loving being near the beach!
Q3. What suggestions would you make to improve the house or apartment where you are currently living?
Answer: Improvements to the house I’m living in now? [Examiner: Yes]. Well, I share a unit with 3 other guys and to be honest, we could all be a bit neater! In fact, the unit is always too messy. The kitchen looks like a ‘disaster zone’ – dishes piled up in the sink, all the usual mess. As far as the actual apartment, I’m not sure that I would change anything…we’ve got 2 bathrooms er, a big living area, plenty of room for parties – it’s a great house!
Q4. Ok, I’d like to talk about holidays for a moment. What is the most popular holiday destination for people from your country?
Answer: Where I come from, the beach is definitely the popular choice for holiday destination, especially in the summer. Most of my family and friends back home are typically farmers so the beach is a really big contrast for them. Lots of people flock to the coastal regions in search of relaxation and enjoyment by the beautiful blue waters of the ocean! Of course, not all people are drawn to the ocean – some prefer the mountains. There’s a lot to do there as well. There are some people – like my mother for example – who prefer a cooler climate and so they enjoy a mountain-style holiday. But I’d say that the beach is the most popular holiday destination for people from my country.
Q5. When you take a holiday, what do you most like to do?
Answer: Well, I like to relax. I particularly enjoy reading in the sun…you know a good book and the warm summer sun…wow! There’s nothing quite like it! Very relaxing, very enjoyable. Of course I prefer a beach-side holiday so surfing and swimming are high on my ‘to do’ list! Let’s see…I like to watch some TV, go walking, do some shopping. Yea, those are the main activities that I do on holiday. Basically a real change in my normal activities.
Q6. Tell me about where you think is the best place in the world to take a holiday?
Answer: Ha, that’s a difficult question! There are so many beautiful places to go. I’ve never been to the Mediterranean but I hear it’s beautiful. I think I’d have to say Australia. I’ve been reading about Tropical Far North Queensland. I’ve been reading about all the Islands located in the Whitsunday Passage. I’ve seen some photographs. Wow! How beautiful the scenery! I’ve never seen such beauty. I definitely want to visit this part of the world. There’s an island called Dunk Island. Apparently even the local people say it’s a beautiful island. Although I haven’t been there I think if a person likes to be in a natural, tropical environment with warm temperatures and aqua-marine coloured waters, from what I’ve seen in pictures and read, I don’t think you could get much better than tropical far north Queensland!
Q7. How do you feel about taking holidays?
Answer: I think they’re important! They’re a great way to ‘take a break’. To pause, to stop…you know, take time out. I think it’s important for us to take a break from our normal work activities and really change our environment. Holidays enable us to do this. Personally, I don’t like a holiday that’s too long – I think one week is long enough. I think it can become boring and counter-productive if a person takes a holiday that is too long.
Q1. Good. I’m now going to give you a topic that you will need to speak about for 1-2 minutes. You can take notes if you want. You have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say. I want you to describe an elderly person you know. Ok? You have a maximum of 2 minutes to speak so if you go over 2 minutes, I will ask you to stop. Can you please begin speaking now?
Answer: Ok, an old person that I would like to talk about is my Father, my Dad. Although I really don’t think of him as being old, he’s older than me! I’ve known my Dad all my life…I guess I met him when I was born! At the moment, he lives in Capetown, South Africa because he is doing some lecturing at university over there. He wasn’t always a teacher, he’s an architect by trade.
Well, he’s my Dad. He’s a great father. He’s always been a wonderful provider for the family. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters and he has always worked hard to provide for our needs. I believe his love of teaching is why I’m preparing to go to university to commence my studies pursuant to a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
As a family we never went without much. I grew up in a nice home and a safe, family environment. My Dad taught me good values. You know, the ‘golden rule’.
Dad has a great zest for life. His laugh makes me laugh! He’s a happy person and I hope that in the future, I will carry that humour into the lives of my friends and my family. Actually, talking about Dad now has reminded me that I need to give him a call…I think I’ll do that tonight!
Q1: We’ve been talking about an older person you know and I’d like to discuss one or two more questions that are related to this. Firstly, let’s consider the role of elderly people in society. Comment on the attitudes of young people towards older, senior citizens.
Answer: I think that generally there is a gap between the older and the younger generation today. I’m not sure why this is – perhaps it’s because the younger generation aren’t taught to respect older people enough. On the other hand, maybe they think older people don’t want to waste their time talking with younger people or vice-versa. Of course, I’m just one younger person so my perceptions may not be correct, but I think a lot of older people tend not to relate well to younger people. With technology changing so quickly you know, the older people just don’t understand all this ‘new stuff’…so, the perception is that when I’m with an older person, I can’t be myself, I have to ‘slow down’ and use different language…you know, behave differently.
Q2: What about the older person’s perspective. Comment on how older people view younger people in society.
Answer: I think…and again I’m only generalizing, it’s only my opinion [Examiner: sure, that’s ok] that the attitude of the older generation toward the younger generation is that we are basically foolish. I mean, some of them think that we make foolish decisions, that we waste our money and time…in a way I think they’re correct, I mean, I see a lot of people who waste their time and money on foolish things. But yeah, I think older people must think that our youth is wasted on trivial things.
Q3: Ok, can you please suggest some of the benefits older people bring to society.
Answer: Um, wisdom. In many cases, older people are smart! Of course, they’ve been around for a long time and they’ve experienced life. They’ve got ‘life experience’. This is very important for the future because it can help us to avoid making mistakes. From them, we can learn what works and what doesn’t work. You know, our governments would do a better job if they called more seriously on older people for advice. The advice of the elderly might save us from making foolish decisions. I guess older people also add variety, a special and unique dimension to a population, I mean…they remind us to ‘slow down’, to relax and enjoy life. Umm, older volunteers are extremely helpful. The other day I was at an airport and I was lost, an older volunteer at the information counter saved me from missing my plane flight!
Q4: Let’s now talk about some of the challenges which are unique to older people. Please comment on the difficulties older people experience in society.
Answer: Well, one of the difficulties that comes to mind is that our world is so fast-paced. These days, technology, the speed of change is so fast that it even amazes me! I wonder how difficult it must be for an older person to keep up with this pace of change…I believe it must be difficult for them. My father called me the other day…he’s trying to set up a new fax/photocopier/scanner/printer… he’s been having a really hard time trying to work out how to operate it.
Another difficulty, er, as the body gets older, well, it’s not as agile as it used to be…you know it’s difficult for older people to get around – in shopping centres, in and out of their cars, into restaurants, sometimes these basic activities – things that young people take for granted – are major activities that they have to do.
I guess there are mostly younger people running society…you know, in supermarkets, retail shops…those kinds of places, so if these younger people are not patient and understanding – you know, when older people come into their shops – this could also be a difficultly for older people.
Q5: Ok. Suggest ways that societies can help older people with their unique challenges.
Answer: Well, I think the first place to start would be for younger people to slow down a bit, not be in such a hurry to do things and look at life from the perspective of an older person. This would help them to be more sympathetic, that’s for sure! Um, help older people…well…I can’t think of any other ways societies could help at the moment. Um…just be kinder, I guess, more understanding that they are not as fast as they used to be. I think it’s important for younger people to remember that old people used to be young people in the past…their thinking can be young, but their bodies are old!
Oh yes, my grandmother had a problem with her legs, she couldn’t walk up stairs. Societies could make areas like shopping centres, restaurants, movie theatres…those kinds of places more accessible for older people who have problems walking.
Q6: Ok. To conclude, I’d like you to compare the quality of life older people have now with the quality of life they experienced in the past.
Answer: Well, now that’s a difficult question…considering that I’m not an old person! You sure know how to ask tricky questions! Well I guess since technology is improving and new things are being made all the time, life today should be a little easier for older people than it was, say 100 years ago. I mean, today, we have cars which are comfortable…more comfortable I guess than the first types of transportation a long time ago. Medicine today is prolonging life, so people in western countries are living longer…this can be a good thing, I guess…as long as they have a comfortable standard of life.Today, doctors can help older people live more comfortably…I guess. For example, if an older person has a disease or some other problem with their body, I guess it’s possible for them to have this problem cured. I don’t think medicine was so advanced in the past. My grandmother, for example, had an arthritic condition in her hip. She experienced incredible pain. I remember seeing her crying it was so painful. But the doctors gave her a new one! She lived her latter years free of hip pain, which gave her a better quality of life. In the past, this kind of thing would not have been possible.