Right approach to discussion
Paper 4 Part B Group Interaction
A good discussion is when all members actively take part in contributing meaningful and relevant ideas, helping each other out and responding to others' ideas.
The following sample will give you some idea of what a natural discussion is like.
You might find the expressions in colour useful.
Topic: You are a member of the student union of your school, which is going to join some other schools to organise a Careers Day.
Discuss what should be taken into account when you plan for this activity.
Candidate B (Jackie Chan): Well, let's get started. We are here to discuss the details about the Careers Day. It is a joint-school activity, so it's very important. Has anyone any suggestions on how we can do it well?
Candidate C (Maggie Cheung): As I see it, we should do some careful planning first.
Candidate A (Bruce Lee): You're right, of course, but can you be a bit more specific?
Maggie: Let me think for a moment . . . What I mean by 'planning' is that we should consider all pros and cons of a particular action before we make any decision, that is . . .
Candidate D (Susan Wong): Could I just come in here?
Maggie: Yes, please go ahead.
Susan: Maybe we should first decide when the Careers Day should take place. Let's make it sometime in June, after the HKCEE is over.
Bruce: That's a good point. June is the best time of the year to have this kind of activity. All the exams will have been over by then so that students have time to participate in this meaningful activity.
Jackie: That's all very well, but students may need to have the information earlier so that they can make all the necessary arrangements for job seeking. Why don't we have our Careers Day before the exam, say, in March? What's your reaction to that?
Bruce: You've got a point here. But I wonder if we have enough time to organise all these things and get them ready by March.
Jackie: I am not very worried. Look, we have got all the smartest guys of our school here.
Bruce: To this I can't agree more. Ok, if we all agree, it will be March.
Maggie & Susan: Done!
Bruce: Great! Shall we go on to the types of activities we are going to have and come back to that later? Do you have anything on your mind? (facing Maggie)
Maggie: I'm sorry. I don't know how to say it in English. What do we call those talks that are specially designed to give information and let people discuss a certain topic?
Susan: I'm not sure if I get what you mean. Are you talking about careers seminars?
Maggie: Oh, that's the word I'm looking for. We can have seminars on job opportunities. How about inviting representatives from the Labour Department to talk about different jobs that are suitable for fresh school-leavers?
Bruce: I think it will be more suitable if we invite teachers who are in charge of the school careers team to speak to us because they will understand students' needs more.