Sunday, 16 October 2011

Objective Proficiency p 16. Expectations. Extra Speaking

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:
“To expect defeat is nine-tenths of defeat itself.” 
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."
“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.”
“Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations.”
“I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”
“We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.”

Is there a link between happiness and expectations? Has having low expectations ever helped you to be pleasantly surprised afterwards? Do you think it is always good to harbour low expectations about everything, including your own happiness? Or do you think it is sometimes better to have positive thinking and avoid negative thinking? Do you think teachers should have high or low expectations? Why? Do some parents have unrealistic expectations of their children? How important is it to have burning ambitions? What have been your lifelong ambitions? Can you think of a situation in which the results exceeded your expectations? What about an outcome that fell short of expectations?
Can you think of a game-changing situation which has made expectations soar? Can you think of somebody who has defied all expectations by rising to challenges and reaching far?

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.

In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about topics related to the TOPIC. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.


a)  Have you ever fulfilled a dream that went beyond your wildest expectations?
b)  Can you think of any examples of situations in which widespread expectations were unreasonable/over-optimistic?
c)  In what ways have traditional family expectations changed over time?  Has this been a change for the better in your opinion?
d)  Will passing the C2 exam change or help you meet your career expectations in any way?  How?
e) Give an example of a time when somebody failed to meet the expectations.
f) Tell us an anecdote about a time when your expectations were fulfilled.
g) Do you think expectations of economic recovery will heighten?


Expectation (of something):  

We are confident in our expectation of a full recovery.
Expectations of success have never been higher.

expectations for  

We have high expectations for the future of this organisation. 
Expectation (that…):  

There was a general expectation that he would win. The expectation is that property prices will rise. 

more in hope than expectation.

I applied for the post more in hope than expectation.

Against all expectations

Against all expectations, she was enjoying herself. Against all expectations, Usain Bolt could only finish in third place in the 100m semi-final.

Contrary to expectations


Contrary to expectations, interest rates did not rise. The preparations for the Olympics appear to be running to schedule, contrary to expectations

great expectations

She went to college with great expectations.

an air of expectation

There was an air of expectation and great curiosity.

exceeded expectations/ go beyond expectations

The results exceeded our expectations. So many companies boast they "exceed expectations" or "go beyond expectations”. She exceeded our expectations.

surpass all expectations

You've surpassed all of my expectations.

be way beyond expectations

The latest company results are way beyond expectations with a fantastic 17% profit increase reported in the last quarter.

below someone's expectations

The team has performed below their fans’ expectations this season and currently sit in an underwhelming (not impressing or exciting you at all) 16th place in the league.

fall short of expectations

The numbers attending fell short of expectations. The company has fallen short of expectations

live up to expectations

The event did not live up to expectations.

fulfil someone's expectations

My expectations were fulfilled.

(not) match the expectations

The results did not match the expectations.

come up to the expectations of someone

He said politicians had not come up to the expectations of the nation (reach).

fail to satisfy the expectations of someone

Therefore, if we fail to satisfy the expectations of our customers, we could damage our reputation.

defy all expectations

They have defied all expectations by reaching this far (defy: to be impossible or almost impossible to believe, explain, describe, etc. Sp. Ir en contra de)

Raise expectations

Expectations have been raised by promises made in the elections.

Expectations soar

Expectations have soared since the club won promotion last season.

dampen expectations

Expectations for the festival were dampened by the news that some of the bands due to perform had pulled out. (Dampen: to make something such as a feeling or a reaction less strong)

arouse expectations

The news aroused expectations that the Prime Minister would announce her resignation later today.

confound expectations

Latest figures from Wall Street continue to confound analysts’ expectations of a fall in share prices. (Confound / kənˈfaʊnd/ somebody/something: to prove somebody/something wrong. E.g. To confound expectations. She confounded her critics and proved she could do the job.)

hold high expectations

The Union continue to hold high expectations that the government will return to negotiations in the near future.

shape somebody's expectations

One of the keys to retail success is to shape customers’ expectations of what your business can provide them.

manage (the high) expectations

One of the new President’s challenges is how to manage the high expectations that accompany his ascent to power.

heighten expectations

Expectations of economic recovery have been heightened by the latest financial reports issued by the government.

lower expectations

If expectations are successfully lowered during times of economic downturn, society is less likely to experience upheaval and dissent. (Upheaval: / ʌpˈhiːvl/ a big change that causes a lot of confusion, worry and problems. Disruption. Sp. Agitación. Dissent: the fact of having or expressing opinions that are different from those that are officially accepted. Sp. Desacuerdo.)

water down expectations

With the new album due to be released next month, the lead singer tried to water down fans’ expectations of a repeat of their best selling first record.  “We’ve moved on, the new record is much harder and the songs are less catchy – we’ve developed a much more mature and experimental sound in the last two years.”

Build up expectations

Expectations of a large election victory for the party have been built up by comments from key political commentators.

unrealistic expectations

Some parents have unrealistic expectations of their children.

meet expectations

Unfortunately the new software has failed to meet expectations.


Read the blog on the link below about the link between happiness and expectation.   How do you think what the writer says about Denmark compares with life in Spain?
References:  Eric Weiner blogs about expectation and happiness for the NY Times:

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