Speaking: model for today

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 June, 2007, 12:00am

Paper 3

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.

Which of the following types of people do you think is the best model for teenagers in Hong Kong?

You might want to talk about

- the good qualities they each represent

- any negative qualities they may have

- the qualities needed by young people nowadays

- anything else you think is important

Ideas to help you

Note some ideas down and if you do not think you have enough look at ours. The qualities listed gradually become less admirable from a modern point of view.





physical fitness

intense training



keeping to tradition

looking down on ordinary work


willingness to commit suicide

Useful qualities for modern world


social concern


ability to work hard



love of learning


moral behaviour




Possible points

None of the people are really suitable for our modern world. It would be nice if people were a bit like the scholar at school, the samurai in the workplace and the nun at home.

Modern life is too diverse for any one model. People like social workers and nurse might learn from the nun, artists from the scholar and businessmen form the samurai.

Part B

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

Sample questions

Which of these types are you most like?*

Which of these types do you most admire?

Do you have a personal model?

(* be careful to remember the difference between are you like and do you like. The first is about being similar to, and the second about preferring)

Answer the question with some comments

I am not really like any of them. I love judo and believe that sports players must have discipline like a samurai, so I am a little bit like one, but I certainly do not believe in solving problems by violence.

I admire the nun most. She reminds me of Mother Teresa. It is very beautiful to spend all your life trying to help others and not caring about your own comfort. But I don't think many people can be like that.

Not really, but I would love to be a bit like Bill Gates and have great ideas that make life better for everyone and also bring me a lot of money that I can then spend on good causes.


being humble

kind- heartedness




lack of interest in fashion, wealth etc




belief in traditional womanly role

Scholar-artist [calligrapher]

devoted to knowledge

keen on art and beauty




full of learning

strict about morality



looking down on ordinary work