This episode's vocabulary
- Observe (verb) - to watch carefully the way something happens or the way someone does something, especially in order to learn more about it.
- Observation (noun) - the act of observing something or someone.
- Planner (noun) - something such as a book or computer program showing the days, weeks, and months of the year, in which you can put the dates of events, meetings, etc.
- Milestone (noun) - an important event in the development or history of something or in someone's life.
- Run-of-the-mill (adj.) - ordinary and not special or exciting in any way.
Questions and Answers
M: How can parents help children to become organized?
R: Well, setting a good example seems like a great place to start. One of the ways children learn is by observation. So if they see adults in their life succeeding at being organized, or succeeding while being organized or because of it, then they'll likely copy the behavior they think works. Another way might be having practical organization methods to hand like using calendars and planners, it certainly helps me.
M: What factors should people consider while organizing events?
R: Well, the common ones are things like time, place, the number of people and what's needed to make it a success. So let's say it's a conference, you'll need time when people are available, places to host the presentations based on how many presenters and attendees there will be. All the food and equipment to allow everything to go ahead as planned. So there are a couple of things that you need, actually, aren't there?
M: On what occasions are people organized?
R: I think there are different levels of organization. So if we mean just having an idea of what you should be doing, then most people are organized most of the time. But if we mean, they are appropriately prepared and understand what's expected of them, then that might be only for major or regular events like going to work or school or a party. And even then people forget about things they need or want.
M: What are the occasions people have parties for?
R: Well, we already talked about birthdays, though, that's not the only time. Anything that, well, anything involving times, when you want to celebrate a major milestone, like passing exams, or a driving test or a wedding, there'll be other times as well. But so much of this is dependent on the context and the culture. It's difficult to imagine right now.
M: And is it difficult for people to organize parties or different events?
R: It depends on how, I don't know, orderly they are as a person. It shouldn't be. And most of the parties that I've been to and have seen have been quite well-organized. So no, I don't think so. I imagine there are some times when people make mistakes, but have a complete disasters, unlikely.
M: Why do you think some people dislike organizing things?
R: Well, there's lots of pressure involved in organizing things. And then of course, people fear failure. And that can be something that prevents them from going on to do what they like. I think those are the big ones really.
M: What public events are celebrated in your area? And what do you think about them?
R: Well, that's an interesting question. Off the top of my head, we don't actually have that many local events that stand out from other places. But the ones that come to mind most readily are, we have a new year Duke, when people jump into cold water on the beach to celebrate a fresh start to the year. And then we have an annual Gala in our part of the town where people show off their businesses or their homes. I can see why outsiders would be curious about them. But if you're like me, then this is all very run of the mill stuff.
M: Do you think that organization skills should be improved and developed at school?
R: Well, yes, but I think they are anyway, aren't they? Because in order to be a good student at school, and to succeed, you need to be able to organize things in a reasonable way. It doesn't mean you have to be organized for every school subject, but even for the ones you like in order to be good at them, then you have to have some kind of organization or preparation.
M: Do you think people will be more organized in the future?
R: Yes. And that's quite depressing, because actually, sometimes, some of the more fun things can happen as a result of the chaos but I don't think there's any way to stop that from happening.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers! For your well-organized answers!
R: Thank you!
M: Okay, dear listener, because it's a new topic. So it was added by IELTS people in January, and it's still going to be on till May. We don't have many speaking part three questions unfortunately for this particular topic. So we can now talk about like what other questions are possible about this topic. So in speaking part three, as you know, the examiner might change questions. According to what you're saying, the examiner then just makes up a question or changes the statements that they have in their secret booklet. Okay? So speaking, part three is more flexible. So let's just think about what other questions could they ask you during speaking part three? So speaking part two was describe a happy event you organized. So Rory, what do you think? In speaking part three, what other questions can they ask you about?
R: A lot of these questions are based on the taxonomy of questions, aren't they? So they move up in terms of complexity. So let's have a look at that then. So the first level is remembering. So that's about recalling information. So it could be like, what are the most recent events that have been organized in your area? What are the most recent events that have been organized in your area? So you have to remember and tell the facts. Then it might be... Then the next step is being able to understand things. So you have to explain the ideas and the concepts. So here it might be, can you tell me why you have these events? And why other places don't have these events?
R: And then you've got to be able to apply. So it might be something like, what kinds of things are needed in order to successfully organize something, and then analyzes the next level. So you have to draw connections between ideas. So here, it would be like, what kinds of, well, we talked about what's required to organize something. And then it could be like, which ones are the most important? Or how are the things that make a party successful or organized event successful, different from each other? And then you've got the evaluation ones, which are which ones are the best or which ones are the most necessary? And then the last one is, can you tell me how you would organize an event like this in your country, for example?
M: Yeah, or how are such events organized in your country? Just like in in your country.
R: We need to do a course about that. Because it's important that candidates understand this because it's actually quite important, not just for IELTS, but it's actually how a lot of Western educational establishments structure their questions for students. Have I bored you, Maria?
M: To death, Rory.
M: I don't know what to do with myself now. So, please remember that you give the answer and then the examiner might change the question. They might make up the question. If they don't understand your answer, they can ask you oh, could you clarify that? Or but what do you mean by this? Or, but what about that? Right? And also, if you are not answering the question directly, the examiner would go like, wait, but what about this? Right? So the examiner is more flexible in speaking part three.
M: Right. So let's have a look at what you said about organizing things and events. So surely, like parents and children, how can children become more organized? Well, children learn by observation. This is the key at being organized.
R: Yes. But it could be anything like learn by observation, learn by analysis.
M: And then you said that they (children) will likely to copy to copy the behavior they think works. So they learn by observation, and they copy, copy the behavior of their parents usually.
M: So then factors we think about while organizing different events, occasions. So you mentioned time, place, the number of people. Yeah, surely.
R: I used a conditional because there's if.
M: Yeah, an example like with if, if it's a conference, if it's a wedding, if it's a party you need blah, blah, blah.
R: What kind of conditional is that? Is it first?
M: It's the first conditional. If it's a conference, you'll, will. Yeah. Yeah, and then you should make sure that everything goes ahead as planned. That's a nice one. So everything should go ahead as planned, as it was planned, or as it has been planned. But you can just leave it out. And you say everything should go ahead as planned.
M: And then Rory said, there are different levels of organization. Levels. So the first level is an idea.
R: Yes. Well, it's just having the idea. So like, understanding that you need to do something. That's like, the most basic level of organization is like, I need to write an essay. Okay, great. Now you know what you need to do. And then...
M: Yeah, that is the first step.
R: Yes, that is the first step, understanding that the essay exists and you must complete it. So just this idea that you have a task, like most people have that idea. I hope they do anyway.
M: Yeah. And then you should understand what is expected of you. Yeah? So what exactly you should do to write this essay. Yeah? Or to organize a party.
R: Yeah. So it's like, you have the idea. Now you need the physical stuff to make it happen.
M: And how do you say, so you have an idea, you kind of plan it and then you execute this or you make it happen? You put it into reality? What do we say? We make it true? Realize it?
R: Yeah, I was gonna say you realize it. I thought you'd said that already. Sorry.
M: So we realize this idea. Yeah?
M: Okay. And people have parties on their birthdays, wedding, celebrations, and then Rory said like when you want to celebrate a major milestone. So in this context, a major milestone is something significant, right? So for example, an anniversary. Could an anniversary be a major milestone? So they've been married for 40 years? So 40 years they've been together. Hey, it's a major milestone.
M: Yeah. Or like a major milestone, like passing exams or a driving test or a wedding. Yes, a milestone is a significant event, something, achievement.
R: Milestones used to be like physical things that showed you how many miles you traveled and how many miles you had left to go to get to your destination. But now it's like the point on a journey that you have in life. Because of course, we don't use milestones anymore because we have maps.
M: And then the question was about public events in your area, and Rory goes, that's an interesting question. Of the top of my head, we don't have that many local events.
R: We really don't.
M: So like public events in your area, like local events. And then you use this phrase to buy yourself time. You react to the question, oh, that's a surprising question, to be honest with you. Well, what and then you kind of thinking, oh, what public events do I have in my area? Of the top of my head, we don't have many. And then you just say some nonsense about, I don't know, local celebrations or events or parties?
R: Well, no, those things that I talked about are real.
M: Well, Rory is an educated native speaker. Band nine.
R: Well, but yeah, those things are real. It's just it's very strange because some people don't really get that involved with their local community. Like I'm not at all. I know there are things happening but I don't go to them.
M: Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay.
R: What was the last local event you went to, miss?
M: No, I cleaned the forest myself. It's my own local event. I just go and clean it by myself. No, seriously, because the freaking they just dropped freaking litter. And because my windows overlook this nice forest and it's just covered in filth. And when it gets dirty, I just go out and I clean it. So this is my local event. Maria local event.
R: Good for you.
M: Yeah, so you can talk about local events in your area. And then Rory said like, we don't have many local events that stand out from other places. So a local event could stand out, could be, you know, like significant, different from other areas. And then Rory gave us two examples. The first one is the New Year Duke. This is very strange, people jump at the cold water to celebrate New Year?
R: Well, it's to celebrate a fresh start to the year.
M: Oh, okay. Well, Russians just plunge into freezing cold water in winter because of the religious beliefs.
R: It's called a weekend.
M: No, no, we have this day when everybody needs to, not needs to, kind of everybody can go and swim in this frozen hole. It's called frozen hole.
R: What a delicate name. How poetic.
M: Yeah. You go to the lake and it's all ice. And you make this hole and there is water there and you just like dive in there and swim for like 30 seconds.
R: Yes, I understand what it is. I just think the name is amazing. It's like yes, the frozen hole, of course.
M: Oh, boy. And then what was the second one?
R: The gala, gala week. So but that's just like that's something a lot of upper middle class areas have. It's like, look at how amazing our community is. And then you think yeah, If only we could have spent that money on, I don't know, helping poor people, that would be great. But...
M: So, and these events are held in Dundee, right. So in the sense of the town like downtown.
R: No, no, the New Year Duke is held in, well, actually, both of these events are held in Broughty Ferry, which is our part of the town. So the Broughty Ferry Gala is only for our part of the town because it's organized by the local council, I think. Actually, no, it's a group of businesses, I think, but the point is, it's I think it's a bit silly, but that's my own opinion.
M: And then you said that it's all very run of the mill. What did you mean? Run of the mill?
R: Run of the mill just means normal. Like it's not terribly exciting. It's just something that happens and you're like, oh, okay, whatever, and then you move on.
M: Yeah, just like drunk Scottish people jump into cold water to celebrate...
R: They're not drunk, they're sober. They need to be sober. You can't do it if you're drunk.
M: Oh, really? Oh, okay. All right. So we do it in a different way in Russia. Anyway. It's not just everybody drinks in Russia. All right, dear listener? So it's like a joke. It's a stereotype. Okay? I don't drink much. And my friends also don't. I don't mean Rory. I mean other friends. Soo...
R: And on that note...
M: Yeah, thank you very much for listening!
M: We're sending love and joy! Bye-bye!
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