Sunday, 16 October 2011

Objective Proficiency p 16. Travel. 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:

"Anyone who thinks Ryanair flights are some sort of bastion of sanctity where you can contemplate your navel is wrong. We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things."

- Michael O'Leary on the in-flight experience. He is an Irish businessman and the Chief Executive Officer of the Irish airline Ryanair-

Some people have a love-hate relationship with the no-frills airlines. What do you think about them? Do you think they are being fair with their passengers? Is it fair to pay an excess baggage charge? How do you feel about being bombarded by relentless in-flight announcements? What do you think about flying as the crow flies without avoiding turbulence? What about having to print your boarding passes? What about the fact that passengers get no refunds? Do you think passengers will sometime be charged for using the loo?

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.

1. Can you think of possible dangers unwary travellers face in your area? Do you know anyone who ended up spending a fortune?
2. Are you an independent traveller? Do you enjoy travelling off the beaten track? Tell us about the last time you travelled single-handedly? Do you mind roughing it? or do you prefer to be in the lap of luxury?
3. Do you know anybody who has become an inveterate traveller? Tell us about it. Are you a frequent traveller?

4. What are some of the advantages of being a seasoned traveller? Do you think they become more intrepid? Why? Do you think they get by on a shoestring budget?
5. Have you ever had to travel with a weary travel companion? How did you cope? What do you do to chill out?
6. What are the swings and roundabouts of being a discerning traveller? Do you think many of them are culture vultures?
7. Do you enjoy talking with armchair travellers? Can you think of some examples?
8. When was the last time you were on the brink of losing your bearings?


including only the basic features, without anything that is unnecessary, especially things added to make something more attractive or comfortable. E.g. a no-frills airline

strand somebody 

to leave somebody in a place from which they have no way of leaving. E.g. The strike left hundreds of tourists stranded at the airport. 


/ˈwɪəri/ very tired, especially after you have been working hard or doing something for a long time. E.g. a weary traveller. She suddenly felt old and weary. A weary sigh. This airport is facilitated with good runways, waiting rooms, refreshment and cargo handling so that a weary traveller is never disappointed.


 (of an area of land) covered in buildings, roads, etc. E.g. to reduce the speed limit in built-up areas.


 the outline of buildings, trees, hills, etc. seen against the sky. E.g. the New York skyline. Ugly tower blocks dominate the skyline. 


 a very tall building in a city.


/ˈbʌslɪŋ/ full of people moving about in a busy way. E.g. a bustling city. Bustling with something The market was bustling with life. The town is bustling with tourists and workers.

teem with something: (also be teeming with something) 

to be full of people, animals, etc. moving around. E.g. The streets were teeming with tourists. A river teeming with fish.

the back of beyond:  

(informal) a place that is a long way from other houses, towns, etc. E.g. We stayed in some farmhouse in the back of beyond. They ​live in some ​village in the back of beyond. He lives in some tiny, remote village in the back of beyond.


 /ˈzɜːtɪd/ (of a place) with no people in it. E.g. deserted streets. The office was completely deserted.


 /sɪˈkluːdɪd/ (of a place) quiet and private; not used or disturbed by other people. E.g. a secluded garden/beach/spot, etc. We managed to find a fairly secluded spot for our picnic.


 /ɪˈdɪlɪk/ peaceful and beautiful; perfect, without problems. E.g. a house set in idyllic surroundings. To lead an idyllic existence. The cottage sounds idyllic.


 (of a place) beautiful because it has not been changed or built on. E.g. unspoiled countryside. It’s a country of stunning landscapes and unspoiled beaches. 


 /ˈprɪstiːn/ not developed or changed in any way; left in its original condition. Something that is pristine looks very clean, tidy, or new. E.g. pristine, pollution-free beaches. Pristine snow/beaches/lawns. In pristine condition: The bike was in pristine condition.


/ˈtræŋkwɪl/ quiet and peaceful. E.g.  a tranquil scene. The tranquil waters of the lake. She led a tranquil life in the country.  


 extremely attractive or impressive. E.g. a stunning view of the lake.


 very exciting or impressive (usually in a pleasant way). E.g. a breathtaking view of the mountains. The scene was one of breathtaking beauty.  



/ˈneɪvl/ (also informal belly button) the small hollow part in the middle of the stomach where the umbilical cord was cut at birth.


 happening or provided during a journey on a plane. E.g. In-flight movies

Love-hate relationship

a relationship in which your feelings for somebody/something are a mixture of love and hatred. E.g. She has a love-hate relationship with her job.  


including only the basic features, without anything that is unnecessary, especially things added to make something more attractive or comfortable. E.g. a no-frills airline.  

Excess baggage (charge):  

money that you have to pay for bags, etc that are heavier than the weight limit:  Will I have to pay excess baggage? 


/rɪˈlentləs/ not stopping or getting less strong. E.g. her relentless pursuit of perfection. The sun was relentless.  

As the crow / krəʊ/ flies

in a straight line. The villages are no more than a mile apart as the crow flies. 


(noun U): /ˈtɜːbjələns/ violent or uneven movement of air, making flight uncomfortable. E.g. We experienced severe turbulence during the flight. 

Boarding card, boarding pass: 

a ticket that you need in order to board a plane. 


 /luː/ toilet/ bathroom. E.g. She's gone to the loo. Can I use your loo, please? 

Teacher's questions 


/ʌnˈweəri/ not aware of the possible dangers or problems of a situation and therefore likely to be harmed in some way. Sp. incauto. E.g. Exams are not designed to set traps for unwary students. Unwary traveller.

Off the beaten track

far away from other people or areas popular with tourists.  E.g. They live miles off the beaten track


on your own with nobody helping you. Alone. E.g. She single-handedly saved the town from disaster.

rough it 

(informal) to live in a way that is not very comfortable for a short time. E.g. We can sleep on the beach. I don't mind roughing it for a night or two. Let's rough it and go camping.

in the lap of luxury

in easy, comfortable conditions, and enjoying the advantages of being rich. E.g. We spent two weeks in the hotel living in the lap of luxury.


/ɪnˈvetərət/ always doing something or enjoying something, and unlikely to stop. Sp. empedernido, incurable. E.g. an inveterate liar. He soon became an inveterate traveller.


 /ˈsiːznd/ (when used of a person) having a lot of experience of a particular activity. E.g. a seasoned campaigner/performer/traveller, etc. A seasoned traveller is a person who has travelled a lot.


/ɪnˈtrepɪd/ very brave; not afraid of danger or difficulties. Fearless. E.g. an intrepid explorer. Intrepid travellers always enjoy interaction with the locals.

Get by (on/in/with something): 

 to manage to live or do a particular thing using the money, knowledge, equipment, etc. that you have. E.g. How does she get by on such a small salary? I can just about get by in German (= I can speak basic German).

on a shoestring

(informal) using very little money. E.g. In the early years, the business was run on a shoestring. 


/ˈwɪəri/ very tired, especially after you have been working hard or doing something for a long time. E.g. a weary traveller. She suddenly felt old and weary. A weary sigh. This airport is facilitated with good runways, waiting rooms, refreshment and cargo handling so that a weary traveller is never disappointed. 

Chill out:  

to spend time relaxing; to relax and stop feeling angry or nervous about something. E.g. They sometimes meet up to chill out and watch a movie. Sit down and chill out!

Swings and roundabouts 

(British English, informal) used to say that there are advantages and disadvantages whatever decision you make. E.g. If you earn more, you pay more in tax, so it's all swings and roundabouts. What you gain on the swings you may lose on the roundabouts.


/dɪˈsɜːnɪŋ/ able to show good judgement about the quality of somebody/something. Sp. exigente. E.g. The discerning customer will recognize this as a high quality product. Marble bathrooms with plenty of soft towels, a sauna and an authentic hammam provide all the modern amenities a discerning traveller is used to.

culture vulture

a person who is very interested in serious art, music, literature, etc.


[only before noun] knowing about a subject through books and television, rather than by doing it for yourself. E.g. an armchair critic/traveller. A generation of armchair athletes who prefer to watch sports on TV rather than play. Some armchair travellers surf YouTube for trip-planning research, or for broadening their horizons without leaving the house. 

On the brink of something: 

 if you are on the brink of something, you are almost in a very new, dangerous or exciting situation. E.g. on the brink of collapse/war/death/disaster. Scientists are on the brink of making a major new discovery.

Lose your bearings: 

 to become lost or confused.

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