This week's talking point is shopping. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
Look at the picture from Les Galeries Lafayette shopping mall.
Do you have places like this where you live?
Do you ever go there?
What do you think is good/bad about shopping in a place like this?
What kinds of things do you most/least like shopping for?
What was the last thing you bought?
Talk about the clothes and accessories you are wearing at the moment:
-why did you choose them?
-where did you get them?
-how long have you had them?
Have you ever lied about the price of something?
Are there any shops you normally avoid going to?
Do you ever buy designer brands?
Do you believe in retail therapy (buying things makes you happy)?
Do you ever buy second-hand clothes?
Do you ever buy clothes online?
How often do you look at fashion magazines?
To illustrate the topic, watch this video clip, where some people will be answering the following questions:
What items do you enjoy buying most?
What sorts of things do you buy on impulse?
What sorts of things do you plan to buy?
What recent product or service do you think is impressive?
If you could start a business or invent a product or service what would it be?
V: Hi. I enjoy walking around the shops and I buy things like books and make-up on impulse but I always do my food shopping on-line – it’s such a fantastic service and you get everything delivered to your door. Today I’m talking to people about shopping and innovative products. What items do you enjoy buying most?
L: Oh, I enjoy buying food, and particularly food from farmers’ markets. I also like buying clothes for myself and I love buying plants for the garden.
M: Like most women I should say, like shoes, bags I think and make-up. Yeah, three top things, yeah.
S: Quite diverse really: I love food shopping. I love going to food markets, fish markets.
E: Well, actually, I’m in the perfect place for me right now, which is, er, markets: antique markets and vintage clothes.
J: I enjoy buying, I probably enjoy buying books the most, so er, oh and music as well, so anything where somebody’s given a recommendation.
C: I love to browse around bookshops and look at the latest books that are out and also CD shops.
V: What sorts of things do you buy on impulse?
P: Music, I suppose I buy that on impulse, erm, clothes.
L: Clothes, but not as much as I used to.
C: Food. I decide when I’m walking down the street one day I want to cook this this evening, I jump in a market and get the ingredients and go and do that.
M: Well, I’m not that type of person that buys things on impulse, I’m actually very controlled, self controlled.
D: Just now I was walking down the antiques market and I saw a pair of silver tongs which looked like a great bargain, so I bought those on impulse.
S: On impulse? Oh, dreadful! Handbags, that’s probably my biggest impulse buy.
V: What sorts of things do you plan to buy?
P: Train tickets, plane tickets because I have to travel a lot in my job, so I need to plan in advance so I get good value for money on the tickets.
E: Plan, I never plan, actually, in advance. No, I haven’t got the kind of money to plan.
D: Things like holidays. Anything over, like, £100 I’d say was a planned purchase.
V: What recent product or service do you think is impressive?
P: iPhone. Absolutely amazing. I mean, I bought one and it’s just, it’s really changed my life.
S: Probably my mobile phone. I’ve just changed it to a Blackberry Storm where I can get all my emails ...
M: The new camera that I saw on television, on the commercial, so you’re taking a picture and you are seeing yourself on the other side.
V: If you could start a business or invent a product or service what would it be?
P: I don’t know. I’d like to sell joy. If you could sell joy that would be good: I don’t know how you could do it.
L: My fantasy business is to have a thing called Sophia’s Bakery and to make really fantastic cakes that you can’t buy in this country.
E: I love the Arts, so anything that would, kind of, bring more creativity to people’s lives and expression, I think that would be great.