Thursday, 11 December 2008

Can you really speak English? - 50 Questions for Intermediate Students

Below is a list of the kind of questions I expect my Intermediate students to be able to answer.

Note that:
- each question is to be considered a possible starting point for a conversation: feel free to elaborate;
- one-word answers (Yes / No / Hmmm / Er / etc.) are not acceptable;
- if you don’t understand a word or a question, ask me (IN ENGLISH) to explain, to speak more slowly or to repeat (the language you need for this can be found near the beginning of the “dispensa”);
- you will be assessed primarily on your ability to understand and communicate. Don’t panic if you make a mistake or if you don’t remember a specific word (if necessary, you can ask me in English how to translate a particular term from Italian);
- the list is not exhaustive.

1) What’s your recipe for happiness?
2) Is monogamy a good thing?
3) What do you hate most?
4) How much of your household waste do you recycle ?
5) Who or what makes you go weak at the knees?
6) Have you got any skeletons in your cupboard that you’re prepared to talk about?
7) What are you hoping for when you open your post in the mornings?
8) When were you last moved to tears?
9) When did you last put your foot in it?
10) Have you paid your television licence fee?
11) What’s the best joke you have heard recently?
12) What can you be sure you will never forget?
13) How is life in Apulia going to be different in twenty years time?
14) Are there any circumstances in which you might kill another human being?
15) If you could live one day over again, which day would it be?
16) Which actor would you want to play you in the film of your life?
17) What advice would you have given to your fifteen-year-old self?
18) Have you ever eaten foreign food?
19) Have you ever read a book that changed your life in some way?
20) Have you ever seen a film in English?
21) Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
22) Have you ever been to a political demonstration?
23) Have you ever been so drunk that you don’t remember what you did or said?
24) Have you ever met anyone famous?
25) Have you ever wanted to hit another person?
26) Have you ever made a speech?
27) Have you ever cried with joy?
28) Have you ever been abroad?
29) Have you ever laughed so much that it hurt?
30) What are you doing after the lesson?
31) What’s the first thing you will do when you get home this evening?
32) Where are you going to spend next weekend?
33) How will you feel if the Italy win the next European Championships?
34) What are the things you will never forget?
35) What are the things you won’t do for anybody?
36) Who are the people you will always do anything for?
37) How do you think the world will be different in twenty years time?
38) How long will it be before we discover life on other planets?
39) How soon is global warming going to become a problem that affects you?
40) Did you get any post this morning?
41) What did you get for your last birthday?
42) How did you get here today?
43) How are you getting home today?
44) Where did you get your shoes/jacket/bag?
45) How much did you get for your first job?
46) When did you last get really angry?
47) Did you get to do anything particularly exciting on your last holiday?
48) Is there a scene in a film which really gets you?
49) Is there anything about the university that really gets you?
50) Can you recite any lines from an English poem?


SunOfYork said...

Number 5: my English teacher.

that's the only possible answer to that

Bari Blogs said...


Congratulations, Sun - you have passed with honours! Though I am not sure you should be helping my students by giving them the correct answers...

Lorenzo said...

tralasciando che avrò compreso non più di una decina delle cinquanta domande, il blog è geniale!

però così proprio non mi aspettavo roba del tipo 'how old are you?' o 'what's your favourite team?'...o al massimo, intuito il tuo genere di ficcante stravaganza 'which kind of drugs do you have tried?' o 'which is the stranger place where did you have sex?'...
ma la numero 6 proprio farò l'esame martedi e non lunedì, sappi che sarà solo perchè ho ancora da decifrare questa numero 6, maledetta numero 6...

Lorenzo said...

no dai scherzo, poi proseguendo nella lista si rivelano piuttosto agevoli..manderò una mail per comunicare la mia presenza, a presto!

SunOfYork said...

what kind of drugs DO YOU HAVE TRIED?

bocciato!paul, diglielo su!

Lorenzo said...

'have you tried' è vero...
verrò martedì pomeriggio allora, così da rivedere il rivedibile

SunOfYork said...

lorenzo tu non ti preoccupare dei verbi, basta che rispondi alla domanda numero cinque come ti ho detto io e stai tranquillo che ti promuove :)

la 6 comunque vuol dire "hai scheletri nell'armadio di cui sei disposto a parlare?" :)


Bari Blogs said...

Very impressive, Lorenzo! You gain points for correcting your own mistakes.

Sun, call me old-fashioned but I can't get enthusiastic about the GUYS copying your answer to Number 5...

Irene said...

I found your blog very's nice! It is always good to practice a little...
- Questions 12 and 34 are too alike! PLUS, I usually don't know how to answer that kind of questions... :S
- About question 13, I've never been to Apulia! :( I've got a couple of friends who are from there, though (one of them is from Bari, actually!).
- 33) How WOULD you feel if ITALY wins the next European Championships?. / It's a possibility, don't be so sure you'll win! / When speaking Italian, I sometimes still have problems to certainly know when to say "l'Italia" or "Italia".
- To Lorenzo: Where's the strangest place you've had sex?
- I agree with Bari B about question number 5.
- Loved the "Yes, darling. Life sucks" link.

Bari Blogs said...

You're right about questions 12 and 34, Irene. Well spotted!
To answer your question: if Italy win the next European championships I will be very disappointed as it will mean that England have failed AGAIN.
Now I have a question for you: if English is not your native language - and I'm assuming it isn't - how did you learn to speak it so well?

Irene said...

(Oh, thanks!!!) Well, I know I should answer something like "I read a lot of books, I've studied very hard, etc", but my knowledge is pretty much the result of lots of leisure...I mean, I learnt the basics at school, but what really REALLY made me learn English was TV (no offense to you teachers)...internet and movies helped too :D
By the mother tongue is Spanish.

delicaterose said...

bene, alcune andrebbero lette tutte le mattine