miércoles, 6 de mayo de 2015

Talking point: Technology

This week's talking point is technology. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below, so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
  • What kind of computer do you have?
  • Why did you choose that make? Are you happy with it?
  • Are you good with computers? What kind of things do you know how to do?
  • Is there anything you would still like to learn how to do?
  • What kind of problems have you had with your computer recently?
  • What do you usually do when you have computer problems?
  • Do you know anyone who works in IT? Do they enjoy it?
  • Do you think men tend to be better with technology than women? Why (not)?
  • What are the hot new pieces of technology at the moment? Have you bought any of them?
  • Is there any gadget or piece of technology that you could happily do without?
  • What's your take on the Mac vs PC debate?
  • Do you know any technophiles or technophobes? How do they typically behave?
To illustrate the point you can watch this Speakout video on the importance of technology for modern communication.

P: Hi. I have too many friends to stay in touch by phone, so I use a lot of social networking sites instead. Today I’m finding out how people feel about modern communication. How do you like to stay in touch with your friends?
S: The main way that I keep in contact with my friends is via email, um, and I also use mobile phone.
Sa: I like face-to-face contact best, so that’s always my preference, but otherwise I speak on the phone, write letters, send emails.
R: I think it’s really important to stay in touch with friends, so, I’ve got a really close group of friends that we have dinner once a month. We do a kind of ‘round robin’, you know, we each take turns to cook for each other. So, we do that regularly.
F: I keep in contact with my friends via email. G: Well, I used to use an awful lot of postcards and letters, but of course that’s now email.
J: Email, I still write letters, send text messages, and phone calls. Ja: My phone. My phone is my lifeline. Use it for everything. I hate computers.
P: Has modern technology helped us to communicate better? Sa: No. I think we think we can communicate better but I think it just masks our fear of communicating in an honest and open way.
S: We’re able to make contact with someone via mobile phone instantaneously.
R: It’s given us more options. I’m a bit of a technophobe though, erm, I don’t use social networking sites, I haven’t got on the whole, kind of, Twitter bandwagon: so I know that that’s there for me to use if I wanted to, but I tend not to bother.
G: In theory, it should be better, but in practice, sometimes you just have to speak to somebody on the phone.
J: It has, if it comes to just communication like remote communication, it has helped greatly. But on the flipside, I think it hasn’t because it’s reduced a lot of physical contact, face-to-face contact and I think that a lot of people still feel isolated even though we communicate a lot more than ever before.
Ja: No. I think it’s probably made it a lot worse as people don’t talk face-to-face as much and they just rely on ‘text speak’ and things and points don’t get put across as well if you’re not speaking face-to-face.
P: What kinds of problems can modern communication cause? F: I think modern communication can cause a lot of different problems. A common one would be to email the wrong person, I think. I’ve done that a few times myself.
Ja: Emails. I tend to, between my teachers: I always write the wrong things and don’t send the right work and send all the wrong stuff to all the wrong people and get all my contact lists wrong.
R: It’s so much easier to be misunderstood, you know, if you’re just writing an email, for example.
Sa: When I was working, I remember sending a really important email to the Chair of Governors at the school where I worked and I was typing quickly at the end and I was signing it my name, which is Sarah, and I typed Satan by mistake and sent it.