Task 2

Task instructions:
Read the text. Then in your own words:
  1. define briefly what the main issue/problem is;
  2. say what you think about the issue raised in the text;
  3. provide arguments and examples to support your opinion;
  4. come to a conclusion;
  5. answer one additional question which the examiner will ask you at the end of your monologue.
You have 2 minutes to prepare. Speaking time: 5 minutes.
Suddenly ever since social media got really popular, everyone has a platform to express their opinion: they can tweet what they want, share posts or comment on what others have said. Ideally, this should have allowed for a healthy exchange of thoughts and ideas. Unfortunately, social media is now a breeding ground for trolls. People have become so mean, judgmental and intolerant that they are unable to accept anything that they don’t agree with. Pretty much everyone who has ever said anything against the ‘popular’ opinion has been attacked with cruel comments.
Additional questions:
  • Does the way people behave online affect their behaviour in real life?
  • When should children be allowed to join social networks?

Artificial intelligence is an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities for which computers with artificial intelligence are designed include: speech recognition, learning, planning, problem solving. Artificial intelligence promises a smarter world – a world where finance algorithms analyse data better than humans, self-driving cars save millions of lives from accidents, and medical robots eradicate disease. But machines aren’t perfect and their mistakes can severely impact human lives. Because artificial intelligence systems will assume responsibility for humans – it’s important that people understand how these systems might fail.
Additional questions:
  • Will people lose their jobs to machines?
  • Will artificial intelligence give people more power than they can handle?
One of the problems with the modern environmental movement is that it’s more about politics than protecting the environment. Sometimes instead of protesting or arguing, you should focus on what you can do to help on an individual level. Small things like turning off lights or taking shorter showers make a tremendous difference when millions of people do them. Living greener is based on one simple principle: use only what you need. If we can all strive to do a little better every day, not only will the earth be a cleaner, safer place, but we’ll become more thoughtful and harmonious individuals.
Additional questions:
  • Which is more important, increasing people’s standard of living or protecting the environment?
  • Do you think overpopulation is an important environmental issue? Why or why not?
According to a recent survey, 42% of college graduates will never read another book. Since most people read bestsellers printed in the past 10 years, it follows that practically no one is reading the classics.    It’s unfortunate that the intellectual heritage of humanity is being forgotten, because studying literary masterpieces will teach you to express yourself with clarity and style. By improving your command of the English language, for example, you’ll be able to communicate with precision and create a perception of higher intelligence that will give you an advantage in work and social situations.
Additional questions:
  • Have you ever not finished a book? Why?
  • If you wanted to write a bestseller, what would you write about? Why?
Life in a big city is fast-paced, fun and exciting. There are countless job opportunities and activities to occupy your time. However, with the good, also comes the bad. For example, although the big city has more job opportunities, there are also more people competing for each job. Oddly enough, you will see hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs available each week, but you still might remain unemployed, especially when the economy is down. Secondly, there will always be crowds of people around. Some people enjoy this, while others prefer the peace and quiet of a small town.
Additional questions:
  • Do you agree that pollution is a sad reality of life in a big city and nothing can be done about it?
  • Do you agree that the cost-of-living is typically higher in big cities?
The debate between what is more important, one’s privacy or one’s security, is becoming more frequent throughout the United States. Police departments across the country are installing surveillance cameras at intersections, near local shops, in downtown areas, and in high crime areas to prevent crime. Many residents are not satisfied with these actions and are joining the debate on whether these cameras are invading their privacy and on how to find the balance between one’s own safety and privacy.
Additional questions:
  • Besides installing cameras everywhere what else could be done to ensure our safety?
  • Should police have access to people’s social media accounts in order to prevent crime?