BULATS Speaking Part 3- Describing Places and Objects

A LESSON PLAN FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS

How to answer typical BULATS Speaking Part 3 questions

Finding out about objects and places BULATS Speaking Part Three

Part One – Describing objects

Your partner works for a manufacturer of office equipment and stationery. You are a retailer who is thinking of selling one of their products in your shops. Ask them about at least three of these things, leading the conversation.

Price                                Payment terms                                          Dimensions

Weight                                           Appearance                                                Functions

Power consumption                                   Guarantee/ Warrantee

Servicing/ After sales service                   Green?/ Ecologically friendly?

Reliability                                      Special features/ Unique selling points/ USPs

 

Do the same with objects from this list:

  • A (permanent) marker
  • A ballpoint (pen) = A biro
  • A board room table
  • A box of staples
  • A box of tissues
  • A briefcase
  • A bulb
  • A business card holder
  • A calculator
  • A clipboard
  • A coat hanger
  • A coat rack
  • A cubicle
  • A date stamp
  • A desk calendar
  • A desk lamp
  • A diary
  • A Dictaphone (= voice recorder)
  • A drinks machine
  • A fax (machine)
  • A filing cabinet
  • A fire alarm
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A first aid box
  • A fluorescent light
  • A fountain pen
  • A glue stick (= a Pritt stick)
  • A headset
  • A holepunch
  • A laptop
  • A light switch
  • A mobile phone
  • A monitor
  • A mouse
  • A mouse pad
  • A notepad
  • A noticeboard
  • A pair of scissors
  • A partition
  • A photocopier
  • A picture frame
  • A printer
  • A projector
  • A projector screen
  • A ream of photocopy paper
  • A ruler
  • A security badge
  • A smoke detector
  • A stapler
  • A swivel chair
  • A tube of glue
  • A vending machine
  • A wastepaper basket
  • A water cooler
  • An A4 ring binder
  • An address book
  • An answer machine
  • An automatic pencil
  • An eraser
  • An intercom (system)
  • An umbrella stand
  • Blinds
  • Bookends
  • Bookshelves
  • Envelopes
  • Lockers
  • Paperclips
  • Post Its
  • Pot plants
  • Rubber bands
  • Sellotape
  • Some drawers
  • Thumbtacks (= Drawing pins)
  • Whiteboard markers

Do the same, but this time without knowing what product they are talking about. When you have finished the conversation, try to guess what thing they were thinking of.

What could the questions for each of the things you ask about be? Try to think of at least two options for each type of question, including one not using the words above.

Now discuss this question together: What are the most important factors when choosing office equipment and stationery?

 

Part Two – Describing places

Your partner is someone from the trade promotion agency of a city. You are thinking of setting up a new R&D facility somewhere. Ask about at least three of the things below, leading the conversation.

Population/ Size                                        Economic growth                        Availability of suitable staff

Other businesses, including R&D                         Quality of life/ Standard of living

Prices/ Costs                                Available premises        Transport connections

Location of city                                                                                    USPs

 

Choose one of the places below to answer questions about:

Antwerp                                        Athens

Beijing                             Belgrade

Bruges                                          Brussels

Chernobyl                                     Cologne

Copenhagen                  Edinburgh

Florence                                        Geneva

Guangzhou/ Canton     Hamburg

Havana                                         Jakarta

Jerusalem                                     KL/ Kuala Lumpur

Kiev                                               Kolkata/ Calcutta

Kyoto                               LA

Leicester                                       Milan

Moscow                                        Mumbai/ Bombay

Munich                                          Naples

Osaka                              Paris

Porto                                              Prague

Quebec City                   Rome

Sarajevo                                       Seattle

Seville                             Shenzhen

Singapore                                     St Petersburg

Strasbourg                                    Stuttgart

Tbilisi                               The Big Apple

The Hague                                   Tokyo

Turin                                              Valencia

Vancouver                                    Vatican City

Venice                             Versailles

Vienna                                           Warsaw

 

Do the same again, but this time without knowing which city they are talking about. When you have finished, try to guess what place they were thinking of.

What could the questions for each of the things above be? Try to think of at least two options for each type of question, including one not using the words above.

Now discuss this question together: What are the most important factors when choosing the location for a business premises?

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Suggested answers

Describing objects

  • Price – How much does it cost?/ What is its usual price?
  • Payment terms – What are the payment terms?/ When do we have to pay?/ Can I get credit to buy this?
  • Dimensions – How thick/ long/ high/ tall/ wide is it?/ What are its dimensions?
  • Weight – How much does it weigh?/ What is its weight?/ How heavy is it?
  • Appearance – What does it look like?/ What colour is it?
  • Functions – What can it do?/ What are its functions?/ How can I operate it?
  • Power consumption – How much power does it use?/ Is it power efficient?
  • Guarantee/ Warrantee – How long is it guaranteed for?/ Does it come with a warrantee? Servicing/ After sales service – How can I get it fixed if it breaks down?/ Is there a service plan available?
  • Green?/ Ecologically friendly? – Is it good for the environment?/ How is it greener than other products?
  • Reliability – Is it likely to break down?/ Can anything go wrong when I use it?
  • Special features/ Unique selling points/ USPs – How is it different from similar products?

 

Describing places

  • Population/ Size – Is it a big city?/ How many people live there?/ What is the population?
  • Economic growth – Is the local economy doing well?/ Are local businesses doing well?/ What’s the local economy like?
  • Availability of suitable staff – Can we recruit from local universities?/ Are there lots of qualified people?/ What’s the unemployment rate?
  • Other businesses, including R&D – What are the largest local companies?/ Are there any similar companies in that area?
  • Quality of life/ Standard of living – Is it a good place to live?/ Are there many green spaces?/ Is it a good place to bring up a family?
  • Prices/ Costs – What is the cost of living?/ What are rents like?/ How much would it cost to…?
  • Available premises – Is there much empty office space?/ Is there an industrial estate?
  • Transport connections – Is there an international airport nearby?/ Is it easy to get to…?
  • Location of city – Where is it?/ How far is it from the capital?
  • USPs – Is there anything special about this place?/ How is this city different from others?

 

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