This episode's vocabulary
- Competent (adj.) - able to do something well.
- Shy away (phrasal verb)- to avoid something that you dislike, fear, or do not feel confident about.
- Clear the air - to remove the bad feelings between people.
- Tension (noun) - a feeling of fear or anger between two groups of people who do not trust each other.
- Ultimately (adverb) - used to emphasize the most important fact in a situation.
- Reticent (adj.) - unwilling to speak about your thoughts or feelings.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory will describe a person you know who shows their feelings openly. He will say who this person is, how well he knows this person, how he feels about this person, and explain why he thinks this person shows his feelings so openly. Rory, over to you now.
R: There's a woman I work with called Oksana. She's an administrator who organizes things like school visits, support for teachers and, well, materials as well, actually. She's actually had quite an extraordinary life and is extremely skilled and competent at her job. But the one thing that stands out about her the most is how she doesn't exactly shy away from sharing her opinions and ideas and feelings about a wide range of topics. This is like beyond the workplace as well. Even though we've only worked together for a short time, we're actually quite close and we work really well together. I really enjoy going into the office and speaking to her about different things because, well, I always get the truth from her whether I want to or not. I'm not entirely sure why she expresses herself so openly in a society where this is not so common. But if I could take a guess, I think she likes to make things as clear as possible for people in order to help them, even if they didn't like the ideas she felt she expresses, at least immediately. And there is a time when we were planning how to deal with the situation with a school. And she openly stated that it was ridiculous that we were even having this conversation, but we could jump through some hoops and if we did so, then everything would be fine. And I think that really helped clear the air and it removed the tension from the situation, or at least most of it on our part. And ultimately, she was right. So I'm quite glad I worked with someone like that, it makes a huge difference to my ability to analyze decisions and make them. And it does make for a bit more of a relaxed working environment. People aren't so reticent to speak, for example, or at least we are not so reticent to speak. And that makes things function much more smoothly than if it was a place where this is not so welcome and encouraged.
M: Do you think you express your feelings openly?
R: Perhaps too openly.
M: All right, so that could be a tricky topic to talk about. So, like describe a person who shows their feelings openly. But then again, dear listener, so you can have a strategy. Because different cards ask you to talk about a person. So, for example, a person who you got in contact with, a person who shows their feelings openly, a person who you admire, a person who is friendly, a person who has their own business. It could be the same person. OK? So you just choose one person and this person is everything. And then you kind of change this person towards the card that the examiner gives you. OK? This way you don't have to imagine all different people for all different questions. Rory, what do you reckon? He's asleep now.
R: I'm not asleep. I just think that's absolutely true. To be honest, this isn't a very fair topic because there might be some people from some cultures where expressing yourself openly is not actually welcomed. So in this case, having a pre organized structure in your head is quite useful, even though that's not what's supposed to happen with this kind of topic.
R: Or task even I should say.
M: If you are from a culture where people don't express their feelings openly, you just should say so. Just oh, you know, I come from a culture where people bottle up their emotions. There we go, bottle up their emotions. I come from a culture where people don't show their feelings openly. But I have a friend Rory from IELTS Speaking for Success podcast who...
R: Who does.
M: Yeah, on the podcast. So even like this, yeah, you can talk about Rory. Can people talk about you?
R: You can, because it's to describe a person who shares their feelings openly, not to describe a friend. So it could be anybody.
M: Could be anybody. Yeah. Yeah. They don't have to be a friend. So to give you some synonyms for, like, showing their feelings openly. You can say, for example, like this person doesn't shy away from sharing her opinions.
R: Expresses opinions.
M: Express opinions openly.
R: Shares opinions.
M: Share opinions. Absolutely. You can also say, like, I'm not entirely sure why she expresses herself so openly. So to express yourself openly.
R: And then you could go a step further with that. I'm not sure why, but if I could take a guess.
M: Yeah, totally. Yeah. Again, a conditional, like the first half of the conditional sentence. Yeah. If I could take a guess. I think she likes being different. Right. So she openly stated that. Right. Or she openly said that... Careful, you should use an adverb like to state something openly. Right. Like can you say like a person is like an open book?
R: They can be. Well, but that's in terms of asking them their opinions, not expressing. Mm hmm.
M: Ok. So you can start off your talk with I think this is a good opportunity to speak about Rory, who shows his feelings openly. Yeah. And then a nice phrase is the thing that stands out about this person, is that... Right? Or the thing that stands out about her is how she expresses her opinions.
R: You can think of a specific person and sort of have an idea of different things that you want to say about them. But don't, what's the word, don't repeat the prompt, which just like the person I would like to talk about, who describes their feelings openly, like so in my case, I said there's a woman I work with called Oksana and she does this, this and this.
M: Yeah. I mean, you should, well, give a name or... So as you're listening to us, could you now have this person in your head? Right. Or if you don't have this person you should imagine. Again you can talk about Rory, you can talk about me, you talk about Vanya. Right. So again just yeah. Just choose a person now. OK?
M: Choose, now. Cherry pick. A good expression is jump through some hoops.
M: Oh, so good.
R: So if you jump through some hoops you do what you're told not because you believe in it, but just because it's what's required in the situation. So for example.
M: IELTS speaking exam.
R: Yes. Most people don't have to do, like they don't have to speak for two minutes, for example. But in their IELTS speaking exam you do in order to get the band nine score. So just do the two minutes of speaking at a high level and then go on with your life.
M: Yeah, you have to jump through some hoops to achieve a high score.
R: We speak so much passion about this exam. That we have structured our lives around.
M: Yeah, another thing is using the word ultimately in the middle of the sentence. This is so good. Again, doesn't matter what you are talking about. And ultimately, she expressed her idea and ultimately she shared this with us.
M: Openly. And again, you should use this structure like it does make a difference. Like we did like her opinions. She did express her feelings openly. To vary your intonation patterns and grammar structures.
R: There was an awkward pause, but you can remove the tension from a situation. So if you remove the tension from the situation, you make it less tense, less awkward by clearing the air. Did we already talk about clearing the air?
R: Then there we go.
M: If the air is dirty you clear the air?
R: Yeah. If there's tension in the air, the air is dirty. You need to clear the air by speaking the truth.
M: Tell the truth.
R: And it makes a huge difference.
M: It does make a huge difference.
R: It does make a huge difference.
M: There we go. Yeah, but like when we talk about people who show their feelings openly, what do we actually mean by that? OK, so what does a person do?
R: They say what they think.
M: Aha. So this person says what they think openly in the face.
R: They don't say how they think, they say how they feel openly. These things can be connected. But here the focus is on expressing your feelings openly. So here the person I work with said this is a stupid situation. However we have to do this in order to win, so...
M: Mm hmm. What else do people do when they show the feelings openly? For example, if a person is angry, they just show their anger.
R: They show their anger. Yes.
M: Yeah. You can, for example, say that. OK, so he tells the truth into my face, to my face.
R: To my face. Not into my face.
M: Yeah. To tell the truth to their face. Yeah. Not gossiping behind my back. All right.
R: And to tell the truth to your face, I think we have ran out of things to cover.
M: Whoo hoo! Thank you very much for listening. Hopefully now you do know how to structure your answer and have some quality grammar and vocabulary for a high score, band nine score. Rory, say goodbye to the world.
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