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.
It is a cruel fact in present-day society that some of the best activities imaginable – napping on the sofa, watching your favourite movie, reading a book with a cat on your knee that occasionally paws the pages – are considered lazy or unworthwhile. Actually, according to experts, laziness might in fact be good for your health. Spending a little time away from your desk, or muting your emails for a few hours, or finally allowing yourself to relax might actually benefit your brain and body.
Additional questions:
• What can be done to achieve a good work-life balance?
• In what ways can enjoying life away from work affect your performance at work?

“Follow your passion” is one of the most frequently repeated bits of work advice. It is also one of the most frequently criticized, and for good reason.   Experts suggest that, for most of us, hard work makes us passionate for a field rather than the other way around. We develop passion for what we do over time, rather than starting out with a clear, defined passion for a particular career path. Chasing passion, in other words, tends to make us less satisfied at work because work is often difficult, draining, and even boring. All you need to do is substitute “purpose” for “passion” when considering your path.
Additional questions:
• What helps people choose one profession over another? Please explain.
• Can financial benefits compensate for a boring job? Why/Why not?
Traditionally, parents and teachers alike have believed that exposing children to harsh competition early on will prepare them for competition in adulthood. However, many researchers have found that encouraging cooperation in the classroom actually leads to greater, more lasting achievement among students. Studies have shown that working in small groups toward a common goal instructs children more appropriately for their roles in the business world, which is becoming increasingly team-oriented.
Additional questions:
• Do you agree that competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people? Why/Why not?
• Why can cooperation be sometimes difficult in the workplace?
New research claims that hobbies can help you feel happier and younger. Professor Robert Root-Bernstein found that hobbies that involved visual thinking, learning from doing rather than just thinking, and art and music made people more successful. Another study found that having a hobby may also result in your brain being more functional when you are older and living longer too. People also feel better physically and are less likely to be depressed.
Additional questions:
• Has technology had any influence on people’s hobbies?
• In what ways can hobbies help your career?
The word netiquette is a combination of ’net’ (from internet) and ’etiquette’. A survey carried out for MSN has found some shocking lapses of etiquette in the messages passed around by people under 25. Many youngsters have no idea of what counts as proper manners when writing a digital message. Few people change their writing style when typing formal and informal messages. About 16% sign every e-mail with love and kisses, even when addressing their boss.
Additional questions:
• Should netiquette be taught at school?
• Can having good manners help you become successful? How?
Just like muscles, the brain benefits from a good workout. As you are reading this text, several parts of the brain responsible for vision, language, and associative learning connect in a specific brain circuit for reading, which is very challenging. In general, your intelligence is activated, as is greater concentration. We are forced to construct, to follow a sequence of events, to imagine.
Additional questions:
• Do you think young people read less nowadays?
• How has the Internet changed the way we process information?