8.3 Listening and speaking Part 3
Purpose: to answer questions about your job and working context.
Task 1: imagine that another student is asking you some of the questions in the table in Activity 16. How would you answer them? Spend a little time thinking about your answers, but don’t write anything down this time: you need to speak spontaneously.
Task 2: now listen to the questions asked in the audio recordings below and record your answers. You can then compare your answers with the ones given in the model answer provided with each question.
Of course, these are just suggestions – your answers will depend on your own working context. Note that the seven questions in the audio recordings are very similar to the ones in the previous activities, but not identical. The last question is different from the others. This is because, when speaking, it is not always possible to know in advance what questions people will ask you!
In this activity you will be perform a role-playing exercise, using pre-recorded questions. You will be discussing a business decision, based on the scenario outlined below.
You work for a components supplier in Detroit. Your company has decided to set up a factory in Poland, and is considering two cities as possible sites: Gliwice and Wroclaw. The choice of city is a very important one:
In short, there are some major differences between the various Central and Eastern European member states, which can have a substantial bearing on how a company conducts its business. But it is not enough to compare national characteristics. Choosing theright location means choosing the right place in the right country, so it is essential to focus on cities as distinct from states.
You have been asked to help your CEO select one of the two Polish cities for the site.
Your decision will involve:
- considering the advantages and disadvantages of the two cities
- deciding together which city would provide the best location for your company’s new factory
- producing a short presentation explaining why you have selected this city.
Below, in Figure 6, you will find an analysis of the key factors and a summary of other relevant information for each of the cities.
Task 1: read through the information about the two Polish cities, given in Figure 6, and make notes comparing Gliwice and Wroclaw. Examples of the kind of language you will be using in your notes are given below:
The labour force in Wroclaw is much bigger than in Gliwice – nearly three times as big.
The labour costs in Gliwice and Wroclaw are more or less the same.
Gliwice isn’t as close to an international airport as Wroclaw.
You can use these headings to organise your notes:
- Office space
- Staff retention
- Skilled labour
- Language skills
- Freight time.
Task 2: when you have made your notes, go to the audio recordings below and listen to ‘a colleague’ asking you what you have found out about the two cities. Make a note of your answers to your colleague’s questions, giving your opinion and also giving evidence for your opinion. For example:
‘What do you think about labour costs?’
‘Well, it looks as though the labour costs in Gliwice and Wroclaw are more or less the same. This is because … .’
‘Do you think that Gliwice is better for office space?’
‘Staff retention could be a problem. What have you found out about that?’
‘We’ll need a pool of skilled labour. Do you have any information on that?’
‘It would be a help if we could have people with English language skills. What’s the situation?’
‘We’ll need to be able to have reliable connectivity. How do these places compare?’
‘Facilities are also important. What does the briefing say about that?’
‘We need ease of accessibility. Which offers the better choice?’
‘Freight time to a major port is also an issue. Can you talk me through that?’
There is no one correct reply to each of these questions – students will word their answers differently. However, the answers should be based on the facts given in Figure 6. The answers should not mislead the questioner, so they need to be checked for content as well as form.