PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 May, 2007, 12:00am

Paper 3 -1

Part A In this part you will have five minutes after you have been given the question to prepare your ideas and jot down some notes to help you remember what you want to say. Be careful not to write down too much as then you will not seem to be reading out something you have prepared. This is not allowed. The discussion must be as natural as possible.

After the five minutes is up, you will hold a discussion with two or three other candidates. The discussion will last six minutes.

A good performance involves correct pronunciation, suitable intonation, sensible body movement, clear ideas, attention to what other candidates are saying, contributions of a reasonable length (not one or two words only, nor long speeches), well-chosen vocabulary, good grammar, and appropriate use of conventional phrases, such as 'Excuse me, can you please repeat that?', 'Let's move on', 'I agree' and so on.

Discuss with your group which of the two facilities shown in the pictures below - an up-to-date library or a swimming pool - would be best for an average secondary school which has been given a large amount of money to improve its facilities.

You may want to talk about

- educational advantages

- pleasure given to students

- possible problems

- anything else you think important

Ideas to help you

Try to list your own first and then look at these. If you use these, avoid using exactly the same words.

Educational advantages

good library will provide a pleasant study atmosphere, encourage reading and the gaining of knowledge, and make it easy for students to do research for projects

with a pool all students can learn to swim; PE is a part of the school curriculum and a pool strengthens the teaching of the subject


a comfortable library with a wide selection of modern, interesting books will give pleasure to many students

swimming can be a fun sport; students will enjoy learning to play water sports


libraries do not have many problems; however, the school will need to keep on spending to make sure the collection is up to date

swimming pools need a lot of maintenance, trained instructors and lifeguards are necessary, unless the pool is heated (expensive) for many months it will not be usable

Extra points - library

Main function of a school is learning and libraries are necessary for this

Schools already have libraries, but they are often small and not very attractive

Hong Kong has many excellent public libraries, but they are often crowded

Most students can access the internet from home

Extra points - pool

Swimming is not one of the most popular sports in Hong Kong

There are plenty of swimming pools around Hong Kong and schools can book them [though they are very busy]

Pools can be dangerous

It will be harder to find a good location for a pool than a library

Exercise is good for us - a pool will increase the opportunity to keep fit

You can discuss the matter quite generally or you can add some role play. In this case, you can imagine you are members of a school committee talking about this difficult choice. What might members suggest?

Role play points

Maybe we should conduct a survey of the students and parents to find out what they think.

We could find some schools with swimming pools and ask about their experience.


Library: books and magazines, work stations, films, internet access, CD-Roms, reference materials, computerised catalogue

Pool: training, fitness, coach, water polo, diving, muscles, life saving

Part B

In this part, the examiner will ask each candidate a question connected to the discussion.

Sample questions

Do you like swimming?

Does your school have a good library?

What new facility would you like for your school?

Where do you do most of your studying?