This episode's vocabulary
- Exploitative (adj.) - using someone unfairly for your own advantage.
- Extras (plural noun) - advantages; non-essential things.
- Certain (adj.) - having no doubt or knowing exactly that something is true, or known to be true, correct, exact, or effective.
- Contingent on/upon sth- depending on something else in the future in order to happen.
- Resilience (noun) - the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened.
- Proficiency (noun) - the fact of having the skill and experience for doing something.
- Culture clash (noun) - a conflict arising from the interaction of people with different cultural values.
- Analogy (noun) - a comparison between things that have similar features, often used to help explain a principle or idea.
- Punctuality (noun) - the fact of arriving, doing something, or happening at the expected or correct time and not late.
- Frustration (noun) - the fact that something prevents plans or efforts from being successful.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, do you think having foreign friends is a good way to know other countries?
R: Well, it's definitely one way, though I don't think it's the only way. Actually, if that's the primary reason you get to know people, then it's a bit exploitative, isn't it? Um, it's probably better to make friends just because you like the people involved, and then any advantages that come with it are like added extras.
M: Do you think it's important to know the culture and the language before going to another country?
R: Well, maybe not everything, but you should at least make an effort. It's respectful, and it helps you grow as a person, in my opinion. For example, you have an understanding of why people are the way they are. And you can reduce stress on service stuff when you ask for things, or make an order or request.
M: What do you think of people who work in international companies?
R: Well, I suppose that depends on what you mean, as people, I'm sure they're no better or worse than anyone else. I'd imagine they have more developed language skills compared to people who work in companies working within borders, rather than across them. Although that's by knowing certain, is it? It would be contingent on where you work like the department.
M: What abilities do people need to have when working in an international company?
R: Well, like I said, good language skills, resilience will be in high demand too, given stressful situations that can occur when working with people from different cultures that have different values. Organization and communication will be a priority as well. But they're in demand everywhere, aren't they?
M: What difficulties can people face while they're working in an international company?
R: Well, I suppose the communication issue because if you're dealing with people from other countries, then they might not have the same proficiency and language as you, or you might not have the same proficiency as them. So that could cause problems. I think that's the biggest one, really, that and culture clashes in terms of what's valued and what's not.
M: What do you mean about culture clashes? Is it like culture shock?
R: I don't think that's the best analogy. It's closer to, it's better to give an example like time or punctuality, for example. Some cultures value punctuality, and some don't. And that can cause frustrations when people are late and they don't seem to care, for example.
M: Do you think it's difficult to have foreign friends?
R: I don't think so. As long as you're willing to put in the effort to maintain the friendship, then it's not difficult at all.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers!
M: Yeah, so, dear listener, this is a new topic, again, "Describe a foreign person" and then speaking part three about this "Foreign friends". What else can the examiner ask you? Because again, as it's a new topic, we don't have too many questions on this one. So let's think what else can, what else the examiner can ask you? So foreign friends, Rory, any ideas? We talked about having foreign friends, working in an international company. What else?
R: Is having foreign friends valued in your country? Or do foreign friends get certain privileges that others don't, for example? Do you think that's true everywhere? Or is it just in your country and why?
M: Yeah, do many people have foreign friends? Or what are the advantages and disadvantages of having foreign friends? Again, a very typical question advantages and disadvantages. So you can talk about difficulties in communication, culture differences, culture clashes, clashes, like again, differences that Rory was talking about. Okay, anything else that we just, any more questions about foreign friends or foreign people? Maybe something about like, moving around, like migration perhaps?
R: Hmm. I don't think they would ask questions about that specifically.
M: Hmm. Okay. Maybe something about the future. Again...
R: Do you think people will have more foreign friends in the future? Yeah.
M: Yeah, I don't know. Yeah, again, like typical questions in speaking part three about the future. Yeah. Okay. So, can we paraphrase foreign people or we can say, foreigners? Yeah? Like, have foreigners as friends?
R: Yeah. Friends from other countries.
M: Oh, yeah. People from other countries. Yeah. Then we make friends with foreign people.
R: You can.
M: And then if the question is about, is it important to know the culture and language before going to another country? You go yes, it can reduce stress, yeah, it's respectful.
R: But if it goes the wrong way, then it can be exploitative.
M: It's like you exploit people.
R: Yeah. It's like you use people like a resource.
M: So if I go to, I don't know, what, Spain and I don't speak Spanish, so I use Spanish people?
R: Well, you use Spanish-speaking friends that way.
M: Oh, I use my Spanish-speaking friends to teach me some Spanish.
R: Yes, but you, obviously you're not friends with them with that one in mind.
M: Then international companies. So international companies or corporations. And then you talked about culture clashes, right? When, like, speaking about the difficulties in international companies, so culture clashes?
M: And here we can give an example of a culture clash, I think and you gave an example.
R: I did give an example.
M: So you see, IELTS speaking part three questions are organized the same as the essay. So give the idea, then you support the idea with an example. So for example, in Russia, for example, Spanish people, if Spanish, Portuguese, and Russians work together, they might have some cultural clashes, such as blog. And then you talk about body language, you talk about, I don't know, what can we talk about? Differences in mentality, for example.
R: Or differences in the outlook.
M: Outlook. Yeah. Attitudes. And also language proficiency is different.
R: Yes. So that's just how well you can use a language. And that's part of your language skills. But you can also have organization skills, communication skills, resilience, which is just your ability to cope with struggles, I suppose, difficulties.
M: Oh, Rory, I have a question for you. Is it true that native speakers are the worst communicators? So if I have an international team, and I have native speakers, so I have like Spanish, Brazilians, Russians, and then English, English people will be harder to understand than everybody else? Is it true?
R: I have no idea. I don't think it depends on the language you speak, it probably depends on your level of competency. Like how good you are at your job.
M: But again, what about if we talk only about the language?
R: I don't think it makes a difference.
M: Really? But I've heard that native speakers tend to use idioms, collocations that other people don't know. And this is what makes the communication difficult because non-native speakers just don't understand natives. And they're working as a team in a company. And this is like...
R: Well, if you're working in an international company, then that's down to you to have good communication skills, that's not down to your language.
M: Hmm. And native speakers, do they tend to have these communication skills? Do they know that they're not supposed to use idioms? They are supposed to grade their language, so simplify the language?
R: If they're in a high place in a successful international company that they should know.
M: Hmm. But have you ever heard of these issues that native speakers tend to struggle when they work in an international team? Like language-wise?
R: Not really, no. Oh, well, I haven't seen it.
M: Hmm. Have you ever had this problem? Or your friends?
R: Um, not that I'm aware of? No.
M: Hmm. Because I've heard of some courses and webinars, seminars that are organized only for native speakers to teach them how to talk to other people, how to kind of simplify the language and they raise their awareness that okay, listen, you speak like this with all these idioms, but other people might not understand you. And they train native speakers how to be more effective communicators. Interesting, yeah?
R: I've never seen that before.
M: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard that. Cool. Okie Dokie, dear listener, thank you very much for listening! We do hope that you do have some foreign friends who come in handy. So you can use them. You can ask them to teach you their language.
R: Just make sure that's not the only reason you're friends with them.
M: Oh, yeah.
R: But until then, bye!
M: We'Il see you in our next episodes. Bye-bye!
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