miércoles, 24 de junio de 2015

Talking point: Places

This week's talking point is the places where we live and the quality of life there. 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.
  • How has your town or city changed in your lifetime? Talk about immigration, public projects, new housing developments, shopping areas, means of transport, cleanliness, crime, traffic.
  • What do you like about the city or town where you live?
  • What would you change?
  • How would you describe the people who live in your area?
  • What kind of facilities do you have in your area?
  • Do you think your area has improved or gone downhill?
  • What do you think is the best place to live in your country?
If you had to move to another city or country, which factors would be the most important to you? Rank them in order of importance (1 very important - 7 the least important)
-Not having to travel too far to you place of work/study
-Being near parks or green spaces
-Lively cultural life and entertainment
-Good public services: education, leisure, sport facilities, public transport, cycle lanes
-Nice or cheap housing
-Feeling safe: a low crime rate
-No pollution and no heavy traffic

To illustrate the point, you can watch the Speakout video Society, where people talk about the place where they live.

I've always enjoyed living in cities. I like the mix of people and all the different things that you can do. Not everyone feels like me, though. Some people prefer the peace and quiet of the country. How about you? Do you enjoy city life?
No, absolutely hate London. Much prefer the country.
Yes, I love city life. I mean, London’s such a vibrant, active city. There's always lots of things to do.
Where I live is very, very central and it's inner city. So it's what I'm used to and I enjoy that I can get everywhere really easily.
I enjoy it. It’s a - it suits me. I think it suits my personality.
I really enjoy living in London. It's a great place to be. There’s lots of people around, lots of things happening. Where I live, there’s lots of art shows, and photographers.
I do like city life. I think London especially is very vibrant, and there’s always something going on.
What are the good things about living in a city?
London is such a large city. You know, you can never tire of it, really.
I think there's always something to do. Always something to go and see. And there are lots of events and culture, and you can never be bored.
Obviously culture. I live right next door to the Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern so … theatre is terrific. Huge choice of restaurants, of course.
The good things about living in the city is, the tube, which is really amazing. It's cheap and it's really frequent.
I think transport is one of the best things. The fact that you can live, probably miles away from your friends - and you can all sort of, get to the same place fairly easily, and fairly quickly.
You're so central. Everywhere’s close at hand, there's always lots of people around so you feel quite safe.
What are the main problems in cities?
Traffic is horribly congested.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get round the city quickly, and that can be frustrating.
I think there's always very much of a go-go attitude- that you have to be on the go the whole time. And there isn’t the time just to chill out or take time out. And if you're not doing something, you're missing out.
The main problems I'd say, are probably crime, and just not feeling safe.
I think the crime. I think that the crime’s a huge problem in city life.
I think that we should be trying to encourage more sort of green transport so, cycling, and encouraging people to walk, and use their cars less.
I think there’s not much that you really can do about crime. Because I think it's a social issue. So if people are - you have to, kind of, address why people are committing crimes before you can do anything about it.
I think a city’s a city. You either want to live in a city or you want to live in the countryside, or by the sea. And I think it’s your choice.