Aiton English

Learning Languages for Life

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TOEFL Speaking Exam: Structure / Advice

THere are 6 parts in the TOEFL speaking. Read the notes / table below, then watch the official videos:

  • Parts 1 / 2 are personal questions. = You need to practice talking about yourself, your likes, experience, preferences, etc.
  • Parts 3 /4 /5 /6 require note-taking ability = so you need to practice taking notes.
  • Parts 3 /4 /5 /6 require reporting what someone says = you need to practice reporting what other people say
  • Parts 3 / 5 are listening to a dialogue about a “problem / issue” at a university. =  You need to practice listening to dialogues of people discussing an issue  / problem
  • Parts 4 / 6 are listening to a lecturer = you need to practice listening to lecturers
  • Parts 3 /4 have a text you need to read = you need to practice skim reading and reacting to texts



Time frame – seconds

Language skill


«Talk about a teacher at school you liked”
  • 15 to prepare
  • 45 to speak

Talking about yourself, likes, plans, describing


«Do you prefer to study by yourself or with others?”

As part 1

Talking about your preferences


«Read the announcement of a university decision”

listen to two students speak”

What doe sthe boy (or girl) think of the announcement?”

  • 45 to read the text
  • listen to a dialogue
  • 30 to prepare
  • 60 to speak

Reading a text

listening and taking notes

reporting someone else’s speech


«Listen to two people talking about a problem and giving advice”

What is the situation, what advice should the person choose?”

  • listen to a dialogue
  • 30 to prepare
  • 60 to speak

listening and taking notes

reporting someone else’s speech, giving advice


«read the text about ____” “Now listen to a lecturer speak about _____”

The lecturer gives examples of _____. What examples does he / she give?”

  • 45 seconds to read a text
  • listen to a lecture
  • 30 to prepare
  • 60 to speak

listening and taking notes

reporting someone else’s speech


Listen to a lecturer speak about _____”

The lecturer gives examples of _____. What examples does he / she give?”

  • listen to a lecture
  • 30 to prepare
  • 60 to speak

listening and taking notes

reporting someone else’s speech

Official video for part 1 /2


Official Video for parts 3 / 5


Offical video for parts 4 / 6





Hours of “Extra” listening practice in 5 steps

The best place to learn English is in an English-speaking country because you are exposed to English a lot and have the chance to use it. You get practice listening in the classroom, and extra practice outside the classroom. In the 21st century you can expose yourself to lots of English in your own country. Everybody knows about it, but not many actually do it.  Below are 5 steps to help you “achieve” this.

1 – get hold of a variety of things to listen to in English. This way you can listen to what you feel like listening to at a particular moment. We spend hours of time “making” ourselves do things when working or studying at university  / school . So listening to English should be a pleasure, and not I DON’T WANT TO LISTEN TO THIS NOW BUT I MUST DO IT TO LEARN ENGLISH pain mentality.  You’re not lazy, you just don’t want more pain than you already have. When choosing think about these guidelines:

a – the more interesting the better: If you like it you will do it. “English for pleasure not pain”

b – the more relevant to your needs the better: If you feel it is useful you will do it. E.g. if you want to improve your speaking with other people, listening to people speaking to other people is more relevant than listening to the news. If you want learn about motivation, then you need lots of motivation speeches.

c – the shorter the better: If the listening is 1-2 minutes, you can listen more times in 5 minutes = easier. If it is only 5 minutes of listening it is also easier to “find time”. People often complain “I don’t have enough time.” This is true if we need to find 60 minutes of complete focus on nothing but English, but we can all find 5 minutes somewhere in the day! If we find 5 minutes 3 times a day, that’s an extra 15 minutes per day,  an extra 30 hours per year.

d – the easier the better: If it is easy, it does not take as much energy = you will want to do it more. Of course, if it is “too easy” / “this is so easy it is wasting my time”, then it is not interesting. So “Easy” but you still feel positive about it. * Easy can be because it is slower, or does not have a lot of new words, or, for example, a movie with subtitles in your language. One example of “Easy” is a movie with subtitles in your language.


these are guidelines to think about. They are not 100% rules that ALL have to be followed with EVERYTHING.  Something may be long and difficult, but it is really interesting and relevant, so that’s fine. Use common sense and how you feel.   And remember, the types of things you feel like listening to can change with time or mood!

Examples of a variety of things are: podcasts with short dialogues, songs, TV series, movies, songs, news apps, English learning podcasts, audiobooks, audio fairytales, different youtube channels…

2 – Create “Easy – start” conditions: At the university where I teach, there are lots of machines selling Coca-Cola. If I want a Coke, it’s only a few minutes’ walk away wherever I am in the university.  It’s easy to get a coke.  Do the same with your listening. Make it easy to start. Put this “variety of listenings” on all your devices (phones, tablets, computers). Buy two / three earphones for listening. If you want, buy an mp3 player and put it with earphones in the pocket of a jacket you often wear. When I was doing this in Chinese, I had 3 mp3 players with their own ear-phones in three different jackets.

3 – Plan your “places of practice” :  Below is a table with my “plan” for the next month of “where” I will listen to Chinese / Arabic. Under the table are some more examples of situations:

Place / action


Listening type *


At the computer typing low-focus e-mails / blog entries

5 – 120 minutes

Low-focus only *

When I feel like it

Doing the dishes

15 minutes morning / evening

Both low-focus and high-focus*

Each time

Walking to the station

12 minutes


When I feel like it

Walking from the station to university

40 minutes


Each time

Washing the floors

20-60 minutes


When I feel like it

Skiing / running

20-30 minutes


When I feel like it

Tidying up

15 minutes


When I feel like it

Listening type *

This is really important to think about.

* High-focus listening = you feel the need to focus all your attention on the listening. Often this can be a movie you haven’t seen, or a podcast that you will only listen to once.  If you are doing some mental work or may be distracted by other people, then you can’t do high-focus listening.

* Low-focus listening = you can listen for a bit, then stop listening while looking at something else, then come back to listening. For example, as I type this I am listening to a Chinese TV series that I have already watched. If I focus more on my work, I stop listening, but when I focus less on my work, I hear more “bits” of the film. Because I have already watched the TV series, it doesn’t matter that I missed bits of it.

Other “Places of practice”

working out at the gym /  sitting in the train / bus on the way to work / walking my dog /putting on make-up / waiting in a queue in a shop, cafe, post office  / ironing the clothes etc

4 – each day keep a record of the approximate amount of time you spent listening when doing something.  At the end of the week look at

how many minutes you did

where you did the listening

why you didn’t do it where you thought you would


then re-write your table.

After a few weeks you will be listening a lot more.


5 – As you listen, speak!! More on this later.








Read for Writing: negative effects of social networks

1 – read the writing question and answer the question: What is the “topic(s)” language”?


Some people say that children’s use of social networks, due to the negative effects, should be restricted at home and banned at school.

To what extent do you agree?



2  – Brainstorm negative effects of networking, particularly on children / teens. Make a note


3 – Do the same for positive effects

4 – Look at your notes, what collocations / phrases did you use? Can you think of alternatives to increase your linguistic choice?

5 – skim read the three articles to see which points you brainstormed are made.

article one

article two

article three





6 – copy into one document the more “interesting points” on positives and negatives.

7 – highlight collocations / phrases that you would like to activate (either in this essay or another)

8 – Plan your essay:

Read the statement / questions again

Some people say that children’s use of social networks, due to the negative effects, should be restricted at home and banned at school.

To what extent do you agree?


  • Do you need to discuss both sides?
  • Do you need to talk about both advantages and disadvantages?



As always, you just need to answer the question. In this case it is “To what extent do you agree?” So you just need to say…

fully agree / mostly agree/ generally agree / partially agreee/  fully disagree / disagree with some exceptions etc…

Naturally in your essay you will have to talk about the negatives. If you completely agree, then you won’t need to talk about positives very much, if you fully disagree, then you will need to show why common negatives are wrong, while also showing the positive sides to a greater extent.


9 –  write your essay


10 – read what others have written


10 Step Exam speaking: Likes and favorite

Step 1: Listening practice

Listen once, twice or three times to the audio below to get the ideas


Step 2: Learn from listening

Listen again, pausing an repeating where necessary to make a note of useful expressions.


Step 3: Focus on opinion and reason structures (coherence and cohesion )

Looking at the table below, listen again and mark which opinion / reason structures are used.


Step 4: Improve your pronunciation

Listen again to the opinion and reason structures, make a note of stress and intonation.


Step 5: Moving from passive to active

Listen on repeat for a period of time. As you listen…

a – repeat the opinion structures you hear from the table, copying the stress and intonation

b – when you feel comfortage (still with the audio on repeat), repeat the structures and “finish”


Step 6: Plan your own answer

For the first question (and later the other questions), make a note of your opinion / reason (example, contrast)


Step 7: Linguistic choice

Choose the opinion structure that best matches your opinion


Step 8: Fluency = 100%, Pronunciation = 100%

Without fully answering the question, practice again and again the opinion structure until you feel that your “active use” of the structure is 100% fluent with 100% suitable intonation / stress.


Step 9: Fully active answer

Record yourself answering the question.


Step 10: Review and repeat

Listen to your answer, if you feel it needs to be done again, do it again. (Note, although practice makes perfect, it is a good idea to not repeat it too many times. As you move through the different questions you will get better.)





Here is a link to an anki deck that has flashcards for the  “motivation ” topic. The cards are linked to the questions in the ” ☯active thinking, listening, noticing and speaking section ☯


⛏ Building and activating topic related vocabulary ⛏

In the link below there are two boxes, a vocabulary box and an exam questions box. After clicking on the link, look through the questions in the vocabulary box. If you see an epxression in a question that you want to activate, make a note of it in your “to activate” list and then ask yourself the question and answer it out loud, or make a video of yourself doing so.

click here


☯ active thinking active listening active noticing active speaking ☯

On the link below you will find 4 questions related to motivation and an example for each. Rather than just “listening and noting new words”, the following activites will help you

  1.   generate your own ideas and react to others (this is what langugae is for!!)
  2.    become aware of your linguistic choice at the moment
  3.    help you choose specific expressions that you want to activate
  4.    help you develop the habit of speaking more and using this speaking opportunity to activate recently noted expressions


before clicking here  to access the 4 questions and examples, read through the 10 steps below so you can then follow them.

Your ideas and linguistic choice (LC) before listening

  1. think about your ideas to the question
  2. answer the question out loud and record yourself doing it (video or sound)
  3. listen to / watch  the recording and make a note of your active linguistic choice “before” listening, then……..

Listening, reacting and learning4

  1. listen to the example answer once to compare ideas
  2. listen again (pausing and repeating) where necessary to make a note of expressions used that you like and want to activate
  3. click on the green button  to fill in the gaps in the text of the example answer
  4. listen again to check
  5. again make a note of expressions you would like to activate

Post-listeing: Speaking to activate

Do one or both of the following…

  1. Look at the expressions that you noted and identify the speaker’s ideas in the text that the expressions are in.  Think about your opinion  / reaction to these ideas,paying attention to linguistic choice. Then make a video in which you re-tell these ideas (activating the expressions you wanted to activate)   and giving your own opinion on these ideas  (reactivating the expressions where possible)
  2. Look at the question and again think of your own ideas to answer the question.  When you have your ideas,  plan how you can activate expressions from your “to activate list” in  your own answer. Then make a video of yourself giving your own answer and activating the expressions.

Video 1

Your ideas before watching a video about leaders inspiring action

Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

What motivates you to choose the products you choose?

What inspiring leaders can you think of (business, politics, sport..)?

Can you see something common that makes them inspiring?


Now watch the video to compare ideas and pick out new ones



Building expressions

Go through the tapescript briefly and choose five expressions you would like to activate

React to the ideas (activate expressions)

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements (for each question, think of your ideas, then before answering look through your expressions from the previous and your “to activate” list in general to see if you can activate them)


  1. if you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.
  2. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.
  3. The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.
  4. The first 2.5% of our population are our innovators. The next 13.5% of our population are our early adopters. The next 34% are your early majority, your late majority and your laggards.
  5. Dr. King believed that there are two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by men. And not until all the laws that are made by men are consistent with the laws made by the higher authority will we live in a just world.
  6. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.


Video 2

Your ideas before watching the Professor talking about “getting yourself to work towards goals”
  • How conscientious are you / were you as a student?  Who is the most industrious person you know? What makes them so industrious?
  • Do you set up aims for yourself?
  • The speaker mentions the big five personality groups. Read through them below and answer two questions
    1. Are you in one or more of the groups?
    2. How might being in one or another group affect what motivates you?
    • Neuroticism – A tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, anger, or depression.
    • Extroversion – Energy, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others.
    • Agreeableness – A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.
    • Conscientiousness – A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement.
    • Openness to experience – Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, and unusual ideas; imaginative and curious.

(the above is taken from this page if you want further reading)

  • What things do you value most in yor life (think about relationships, work, free time, possessions, health)?
  • The professor says “you won’t do what you tell yourself to do, you must have noticed that.” Hsa this ever been true for you? If no, then for someone you know? Why does it happen?


Now watch the video (from “Biology traits: performance and prediction)  to compare your ideas and react to new ones


The Professor’s linguistic choice

Read through the sentences below and choose the word (in the brackets) that Peterson chose (both are correct English, but what was his linguistic choice to convey his idea). When finished check your answers at the end

  1. “The more you (like / value) the end goal, the more the micro-processes conneceted with that end goal start to take on a postive charge
  2. “You want to specify a goal that make so say “oh, if that could happen as a consequence of my efforts that would (probably / clearly) be worthwhile”
  3. “(At university / At some stage) you should figure out who it is you’re trying to be and then you use everything you learn as a means building that.”
  4. “It’s important to distinguish between between who you (want to / could) be and who you should be”
  5. “People (usually / often) don’t like to specifiy goals because they don’t like to specify conditions for failure.”
  6. “A schedule can be (very / indredibly) useful,  so you should make a damn schedule and stick to it.”
  7. “I ‘ve got tomorrow, if I was going to set it up to have the best possible day I could have , (honestely / practically) speaking, what would it look like?”
  8. People can end up cracking the whip and then procrastinating because they do not think about what the right ratio of responsibility to reward is,  which leads to them (tyrannizing / demotivating) themselves
Active reacting to linguistic choice

Keeping in mind his linguistic choice, to what extent do you agree / disagree with the above statements / advice?


Reflection on language use

Did you use any of the expressions you recently added to your “to activate list”?

Looking at your list, can you see where you could have activated more when reacting in the previous exercsie?


Extended speaking practice (more “activating” opportunites)

Go back to the page in the link below, only this time answer the questions in the “Exam speaking questions” box.

  • Answer without preparing first.
  • Record if possible.
  • Listen to yourself
  • If you’re not happy and want to improve your active LC,  look through your “to activate list” and plan how you can activate expressions for the question then answer again.

click here






Answers (professor’s linguistic choice)

  1. value
  2. clearly
  3. At university
  4. want to
  5. often
  6. incredibly
  7. practically
  8. tyrannizing













You, Khan and Co. and constructing societies

Before watching

Are some people better at maths than others? Why?

Is the way maths is learnt in your country different from the way that people learn musical instruments or karate?

How important were / are test scores in your country?

Does the coming of the digital age mean we need to change education in our country?

What do you think a “mastery approach” to learning is?


Linguistic Choice

Each gap represents one missing word. How many different words can you think that could be the missing word

  1.  A lot of them were having trouble with math at first, because they had all of these gaps ______________in their learning
  2. they’d get to a calculus class, and they’d be a little bit ____on the algebra
  3. in a lot of ways, this is how you _____ master a lot of things in life.
  4. the whole class will then ______ on to the next subject
  5. I might be in an algebra class or trigonometry class and I hit a _____
  6. it’s important to realize that not only will this make the student learn their exponents better, but it’ll _______the right mindset muscles
  7. a lot of skeptics _________ say, well, hey,
  8. “What percentage of the population do you think is capable of ____mastering calculus
  9. if we let people ____into their potential by mastering concepts they can get there.

check the answers below

Reacting to the ideas with planned LC

Read through the questions below, before answering, think which expressions from the previous exercise you can activate when discussing the questions below. Feel free to also look back through your vocab book / the rest of Khan’s speech.

  1. What points did Khan use the analogies of music / karate and later building a house to demonstrate? How effective are the analogies?
  2. Do you agree that if someone gets a C in a subject it means they have a C branded in their DNA, or will they inevitably be able to improve if they work on it?
  3. How important is grit when it comes to improving in different fields?
  4. How effective do you think the mastery approach to learning is for things like developing a growth mindset, instillling grit or allowng children to take agency over their learning?
  5. Do you agree that the logistics of implementing the mastery approach is doable nowadays? Does it depend on the subject?
  6. Khan says it is imperative to implement such an approach due to the fact we’re entering a digital revolution. What reasons does he give?  To what extent do you agree with his idea and reasoning?



Answers to Linguistic Choice (what Khan actually used)
  1. accumulated
  2. shaky
  3. would
  4. move on to
  5. hit a wall
  6. reinforce
  7. might
  8. truly
  9. tap into

Further watching

below is another video about “fixed mindset versus growth mindset” in children. Think of 5 questions you think may be answered then watch the video




the next video is about schools killing creativity. What points raised in hte last two videos might be raised in the video below about how schools kill creativity?


You and Jeff

“amazon wikipedia”的图片搜索结果

Before reading

The following are tips that Bezos gives  in a article. Before reading, finish the tips yourself then read and compare your ideas with Jeff’s

  • “Base your strategy on things that won’t _________ . “
  • ” (verb) +  (preposition)  + customers”
  • “Our culture is __________ and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.”
  • “If you want to be __________, you have to be willing to fail.”
  • “Everyone has to be able to work in a ______  _____________ . “


Click here and read


Post – reading

Which three of the tips are the best?

Which are  not so useful?


Before watching

You are going to watch a video in which Besos gives 10 pieces of advice about starting / running a business. Before watching, look at Amzaon’s top 10 core values and answer the question

“Which one (and only one) of these Amazon core values will be mentioned directly in the top 10 tips video?

  • Customer Obsession
  • Ownership
  • Invent and Simplify
  • Are Right, A Lot
  • Hire and Develop the Best
  • Insist on the Highest Standards
  • Think Big
  • Bias for Action
  • Frugality
  • Vocally Self Critical
  • Earn Trust of Others
  • Dive Deep
  • Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  • Deliver Results


Now watch and see

Affer watching

Which of the core values could be in some way at least connected with the tips?

Which pieces of advice are the best in your opinion?



Extra – activity

Make a list of core values for your company.



C2 reading: Terrorism, fridges and 3rd conditional

Your ideas before reading

The newspaper article (from the Sydney Morning Herald – SMH) for you to read below is about a conservative journal editor and his criticism of the ABC (ABC = Australian Brooadcasting Corporation = the Australian Version of the BBC, in Canada it is CBC). Activate your ideas before reading by answering these questions:

  • Why do you think the editor of Quadrant, the conservative Australian journal, is crtical of the ABC?
  • Why might he be critical of the ABC in relation to a terrorist attack in Britain?

Read the ideas in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) article heading and the beginning of the text

“Quadrant online editor Roger Franklin laments that Manchester blast was not against ABC”

“the online editor of  the Australian conservative journal Quadrant wrote an opinion piece saying that, “had there been a shred of justice”, the Manchester blast would have “detonated in an Ultimo TV studio (=ABC headquarters).” He added that, if such an attack took place, “none of the (ABC) panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty”


Pause and react to the ideas and linguistic choice (LC)  in the first part of the SMH article

  1. Would you say that Roger Franklin is critical, highly critical, or incredibly critical of the ABC?
  2. How does his linguistic choice of actions, actor/actees and describors  show this?
  3. Do you agree with the SMH newspaper author’s choice that Franklin is “lamenting”?
  4. Why does Franklin need to use 3rd conditional to convey his idea?
  5. What is the difference in LC between “had there been a shred of justice” and “if there had been a shred in justice”?
  6. How do you feel about Roger Franklin’s choice of language to convey his ideas?


Predict ideas before reading more

  • What will be  the reaction of the ABC?
  • Apart from ABC / Quadrant representatives, who else might be quoted in this article?
  • Will Franklin, the editor of the conservative journal, try and justify his LC?
  • Will the SMH newspaper article be critical of Rogers or supportive of him?


Read and react to the ideas in the rest of the SMH article by clicking here



Further ideas to read and react to

Below is the original article by Franklin. Follow the active reading steps of

  • reading the heading and introduction to understand the topic of the article
  • thinking about the aim of the author and how his / her LC shows this
  • reacting to the author’s ideas with your own
  • predicting what ideas / LC will the further in the text (by formulating questions you think may be answered)

Clck here to start



















British Elections: Brexit – healthcare – immigration – tax – education


Your ideas before reading

  • With Brexit, to what extent should Britian try remain in Eu trade, immigration and governing programs?
  • In your country, would it be a good idea to increase VAT or income tax?
  • Should your  government try to increase net migration, or should they bear down on migration? Does it matter if it is low or high skilled?
  • Should your government increase spending in your nation healthcare system? (in Britain = NHS – National Health Service)
  • Should your government make adjustments to your education system?


Read and react

Click on the link below to compare your ideas with the condervative party of Great Britian and the United Kingdom

Tory general election manifesto: key points and analysis



Your ideas before watching

  • Is your social care system complex or straightforward?
  • Does your government provide free winter fuel for everyone (to keep houses / flats warm in a cold winter)? How expensive is this? If you’re in a hot country, what about cooling?
  • When elderly people need social care, be it in a nursing home or if a social care worker comes to their house, does the family or government pay for this? E.g. if someone has dementia but the children are busy working, who pays for the social care that is given to the person with dementia?
  • Do your politicians meet their pledges?


Watch and react

Hunt’s Linguistic Choice

Read the questions and answer from memory, then watch and fill in the remaining answers. After you’ve finished, scroll down to check the answers below

  1. What describors Did Hunt use to describe the socal care system at the moment?
  2. When talking about the opposition leaders tax plan, what action does Hunt use: “that would ____ jobs for _______ , _______ families”
  3. When talking about the trade-off, why does Hunt keep saying “we’re being very open”?
  4. What expression does Hunt use to emphasize that there is no easy solution “there are no ____   ______”
  5. Hunt refers to “poor / the poorest pensiones”, what is his LC for “rich pensioners?”
  6. When talking about people losing money due to the need to pay for social care down to the last 27,000 pounds, Hunt says “the famileis will be ____ out”
  7. After talking about a negative, Hunt says “at the same time” and then lists positives. What describors does he use when listing the positives

___ cancer survival rates      /     the ____  expansion in mental health in Europe        / t       he ________ improvement in stroke and heart atack survival rate of any OECD         /  you’re seeing NHS staff working ___________ well            /           outcomes are ____________better than five years ago


For a food and diet video + activities click here





  1. Baffling and bewildering
  2. that would destroy jobs for ordinary, working families
  3. to balance the fact that he doesn’t give any specific figures, and also win votes from ordinay, working families
  4. there are no silver bullets
  5. better-off pensioners
  6. they will be cleaned out
  7. record cancer survival rates / the biggest expansion in mental health in Europe / the biggest improvement in stroke and heart atack survival rate of any OECD country . you’re seeing NHS staff working brilliantly well / outcomes are dramatically better than five years ago

Food and Diet – British Politics

Current Situation:

THe UK is currently in the middle of an election campaign. The Prime Minister, Theresa May  of the Tory / Conservative party, in her election manifesto pledged she would abolish free lunches in schools, with the exception of those for children from poorer backgrounds. They would continue to receive the free lunch.

Background information:
  • Over the last several years the chilldren have been provided a free school lunch.
  • This free school lunch is for the first three years of schooling.
  • After the first three years they have to pay for the lunch.
Your ideas before watching:

Below is a video with chef Jamie Oliver,  whosays he is apolitical,  criticizing May’s plan. Before you watch…

  1. What are the benefits of providing free school lunches for everyone?
  2. Why is it only for the first three years?
  3. What are the arguments against it?
  4. Do you think it should be cut?

watch the video and make a note of reasons why Oliver is against the cut.



Linguistic choice questions:

Read the questions, answer from memory, then watch again:

  1. What does Jamie say to show is he apolitcal?
  2. When talking about how the NHS has to pay for diseases, why  does Jamie use and stress “the NHS is overtly paying”
  3. Why did Jamie choose to say “the school is the frontline in the battle against diet related disease?”
  4. How strongly does he stress “completely” in “it’s (the plan is)  completely short-sighted”?
  5. When talking about how kids with a proper diet do better in the school leaving exam (SAT), what expression does Jamie use “kids that are fed right are 5% …… in their SATs”
  6. Does Jamie use his linguistic choice when talking about the opposition leader’s (Jeremy Corbyn) proposal or the interviewer’s choice?

Scroll down for the answers before doing the discussion questions


Discussion questions:
  1. Do you believe the research findings quoted by Oliver that well-nourished children are 5% better off in their exam results?
  2. Do you believe that, by and large, British children are the unhealthiest in Europe?
  3. How important is the role that schools play in kids’ nutrition compared to the one that parents play?
  4. Does Jamie come across as being apolitical or do you think he is biased against the conservative party?
  5. The three positions are
  • (May: PM / conservative party): Free lunches only for the poor children
  • (Oliver): free lunches for all in the first three years only
  • (Corbyn: Opposition party / Labor): free lunches for all throughout schooling

Where do you stand on this issue?


  1. He uses present perfect to show his life experience of dealing with different prime ministers “I’ve been through four prime ministers” “I’ve worked with 4 prime ministers”
  2. to emphasise that this is not a hidden cost to society, but a clear and identifable one
  3. to create a war metaphor which emphasizes that this point is the most critical
  4. very strongly
  5. are 5% better off in their SATs
  6. no, he repeats “(he’s) gone too far”




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