Everyday English for Construction and Engineering 2
Everyday English for Construction and Engineering 2

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Everyday English for Construction and Engineering 2

4.3 Cues

When you are preparing a talk, you don’t need to write out everything that you are going to say. You can use cue cards. These are small pieces of card about the size of a postcard. They are called cue cards because they help you to remember what to say by giving you a ‘cue’ or prompt.

You need one cue card for each of your main points. The heading of the main point goes at the top of the card and then short notes expanding on it under the heading.

Figure 13 is an example of a cue card from a talk about giving up smoking.

Described image
Figure 13 Example of a cue card

Activity 17 Making cue cards

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Read the information below about what it is like to be a construction worker. Plan some cue cards for a talk on the role. Decide on your main points and write a heading for each. Then write brief notes under each heading.

Here’s a typical day for me.

I get up, check my work clothes, hat and boots, and go to the site. I’m on a new project today – a school.

The supervisor has made sure all the machinery has been hired and is working well. We have to clear the site first and then lay the foundations.

I operate an excavator, so I start digging in one corner of the site. We have to be accurate about how much ground is removed – this means measuring depths and widths. All the broken concrete, soil and debris goes into a skip, which will be taken to a dump not far away.

After lunch, I continue excavating. By the end of the day, a portion of the site is ready for the concrete foundations. It will take two weeks to get the whole site prepared.

Working in the construction business is very rewarding because you create something from nothing. Building a school or any other building that the community will rely on for years to come is so satisfying. It’s also great to work outside all day with other people.

Construction workers need to be skilled, hard-working professionals who understand the need for accuracy and precision.The job is varied and you need to learn how to do lots of different things.

It’s great if you work in a good team, where everyone has their role and respects everyone else. It’s brilliant when we get to use the latest technology too – modern machinery really helps the job get done faster. That’s why it’s really important to choose the right firm to hire equipment from.

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Discussion

There is quite a lot of information for your listeners to take in. But the information is in three sections, so you could organise your cue cards as follows:

  • Cue card 1: A typical day as a construction worker
  • Cue card 2: Benefits of the job
  • Cue card 3: The importance of working with a good team and good equipment.
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