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Improve your Speaking online Episode 8, Introduction:

This week we bring new current topics in Episode 8 so you can improve your online speaking from home.

Topic 1: APTIS B2 speaking test model📝

This week, Dilo presents an APTIS B2 speaking test model.

Let´s go!

Speaking part 1

In this part you will answer 3 questions about personal topics (30 seconds for each question)

  1. What do you like doing in your free time?
  2. What is your typical day like?
  3. What did you do last weekend?

Speaking part 2
Describe a photo and answer 2 questions related to the photo (45 seconds for each answer, including the description of the photo).

  1. Can you describe the picture?
  2. What are your hobbies and interests?
  3. What hobbies are popular in your country?
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Speaking part 3
In this part, you will have to compare 2 pictures and answer 2 questions about them. You will have 45 seconds for each response.

  1. Tell me about what you see.
  2. Which type of concert is more frequent nowadays?
  3. What type of music is most popular?

Speaking part 4
In this part, you again need to answer three questions related to a picture but this time you answer them all in one response. You have one minute to prepare a structured response and two minutes to talk.

  1. Tell me when was the last time you went to a party.
  2. How did you feel at that moment?
  3. How do you entertain yourself nowadays?

Topic 2: Education 🧠

The Gamification of Learning.

Looking at what the videogame industry has been able to achieve over its short history, it’s easy to see why educators and business leaders around the world are interested in gamifying things.

Episode 8
According to Dictonary.com, the verb “to gamify” means “to turn (an activity or task) into a game or something resembling a game”. That’s all gamification is: you take any human activity, and you add game-like elements to said activity in order to achieve desired outcomes.

Looking at what the videogame industry has been able to achieve over its short history, it’s easy to see why educators and business leaders around the world are interested in gamifying things.

Do you remember a time before video games? It’s easy to forget that the classic Atari 2600 — often considered the original home entertainment system — was released less than 50 years ago, in 1977. Half a century later, the video game industry is almost four times bigger than the movie industry. Or at least it was in 2019, when box-office revenue was $41 billion worldwide, and video game sales hit $150 billion — that’s a market share 3.75x bigger than the movie industry.

To be fair, these figures don’t include all the ways movies make money off merchandise and home releases. However, the figures also don’t include all the way the industry makes money off micro-transactions, merchandise, and selling hardware. On top of that, gaming has only been around half as long as movies. How did this industry grow so fast?

What this can tell us about education

There are interesting parallels to be drawn between videogames, films, and the current state of education. Like attending a traditional classroom, watching a movie is a passive experience. You sit, and you watch, and in the case of schools, you get quizzed on what was said afterward. Video Games, meanwhile, are immersive interactive experiences. While movie-goers can hardly endure four hours watching the same movie, and school-goers count every second of a boring one-hour class, games keep audiences old and new enthralled through campaigns that last sixty hours or more.

They are so good at keeping players hooked that there is often discussion as to whether video games should be classified as addictive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if schools and colleges could have such a grip on students? Imagine if we could make learning enjoyable enough that students would be sad that classes are over. Making learning more engaging and enthralling is one of the primary goals of gamification.

The principles of gamification

It’s important to stress that “gamification” does not refer to the practice of creating actual educational games. The cost of game development and the time required to do so still makes that an unviable option. On top of that, videogames have drawbacks that educators would like to avoid. The lack of human connection is one — most games have voice-chat options, but students greatly benefit from being face to face with people. Gamification has to work alongside traditional classrooms, not replace them.

Proper gamification means putting the arsenal of tricks and tools utilized by video game developers at the service of other tasks. The great videogames of our time all have an excellent grasp on how to get players invested and coming back to more, on how to reward and motivate them in a way that they keep moving forward and enjoying each step of the experience along the way.

The systems of levels, stages, experience points, life points, rewards, and overall gameplay loops are all layered on top of each other and woven together to create an immersive experience. When gamifying education, the idea is to do the same thing with students’ learning process, giving them challenges and rewards and building a progression path that makes the process of learning both active and engaging.

Some online learning platforms have already started making heavy use of gamification tools. They offer students video classes and exercises, allowing them to earn points, rewards, and levels as they study, incentivizing them to keep progressing. On top of that, these platforms often provide a clear road map for mastering different topics and allow students to display their past successes in their public profiles through badges or achievement boards.

The power of these simple gamification tools has been proving again. If you look for a casino online, you’ll see that plenty of them have started using gamification principles as well. These tools are also utilized by social media platforms and marketing campaigns around the world. As the practice gains traction around the world, more and more papers are being published with gamification success stories. Today, it seems that the question isn’t whether we are going to gamify our classrooms, but how far we will be willing to go.

We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. What’s your opinion on the gamification of learning? is it a good or bad idea?
  2. Do you think this method will keep students interested in learning?
  3. Are you a gaming enthusiast?
  4. What’s the best way of learning, for example, a language?
  5. Do you see gamification tools in everyday life? Can you give an example?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Gamification: the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity.
  • Immersive interactive experience: An immersive experience pulls a viewer into another real or imagined world, enabling them to manipulate and interact with their environment.
  • Enthralled: completely fascinated; capture the fascinated attention of…
  • To be hooked: enjoying something so much that you are unable to stop having it, watching it, doing it, etc., in other words, addicted.
  • Drawback: a disadvantage or problem.
  • Loop: a structure, series, or process, the end of which is connected to the beginning; a repeated function.
  • Weave (woven): form (fabric or a fabric item) by interlacing long threads passing in one direction with others at a right angle to them.
  • Learn the ropes: to know or learn how to do something, especially a job.

Topic 3: Series and Films 🎬

The One Problem Ruining Superhero Movie Endings.

With the boom in Superhero movies over the last 15 years, one thing has become a major issue. Studios don’t know how to close a Superhero movie with a decent third act.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Are you a superhero movies fan? Who is your favourite superhero and why?
  2. What’s your opinion on superhero movie endings in general?
  3. Which superhero movie ending do you think it’s the worst? Why?
  4. In your opinion, what’s the future of film industry?
  5. Do you agree with the narrator’s opinion on superhero movie endings?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Homogeneity: the quality or state of being all the same or all of the same kind.
  • Galvanize: to cause someone to suddenly take action, especially by shocking or exciting them in some way.
  • Cliffhanger: suspenseful ending.
  • Juggernaut: something destructive and unstoppable.
  • Inciting incident: the event that sets the main character or characters on the journey that will occupy them throughout the narrative.
  • To go toe-to-toe: to start to fight, argue, or compete with someone fiercely and directly.
  • To ventue forth: To move forward, especially in a courageous but cautious or wary manner.
  • Bland: lacking strong features or characteristics and therefore uninteresting; boring.

Topic 4: Future 💡

Inventing “coffee” without beans to save the planet.

The global demand for coffee is encouraging farmers to deforest land. And with the growth of coffee, production will have to triple over the next 30 years.

We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Are you a coffee lover? What kind of coffee drinker are you?
  2. What do you think about this approach to making coffee? Would you like it?
  3. In your opinion, are beneficial properties the same?
  4. How would you solve the problem that we will face in the future related to coffee?
  5. What alternatives are there to coffee?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Coffee bean: a seed of the Coffea plant and the source for coffee.
  • Beverage: a drink other than water.
  • Ripen: to develop to a suitable condition for something to happen.
  • Geek: a person whose interests always take precedence over popularity or conformity.
  • Cold brew: usually made by steeping coffee in water for a number of hours at cold or ambient (room) temperature.
  • Bitterness: sharpness of taste; lack of sweetness.
  • Grind: turn to mince; reduce (something) to small particles or powder by crushing it.
  • Wake up and smell the coffee: used to tell someone that they are wrong about a particular situation and must realize what is really happening.

Topic 5: Languages 💬

British English vs. American English Vocabulary.

This is a story about the daily life of New York Nate, who lives in the United States; and London Laura, who lives in England.

We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Did you know any of the words given in the podcast in both American English and British English?
  2. Do you know any other examples like the ones given?
  3. There are words that are spelled differently in British English and American English (e.g. neighbor (US) – neighbour (UK)), do you know any other example?
  4. Why do you think they are different?
  5. Does this happen in Spanish? Can you give any example(s)?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Apartment (US) – Flat (UK): a suite of rooms forming one residence.
  • Diaper (US) – Nappy (UK) : a piece of thick cloth or paper which is fastened round a baby’s bottom in order to absorb its waste.
  • Sidewalk (US) – Pavement (UK): a paved path for pedestrians at the side of a road.
  • First floor (US) – Ground floor (UK): the floor of a building most nearly on a level with the ground.
  • Parking lot (US) – Car park (UK): an area or building where cars or other vehicles may be left temporarily.
  • Gas (US) – Petrol (UK): a light fuel oil that is obtained by distilling petroleum and used in internal combustion engines.
  • Elevator (US) – Lift (UK): a platform or compartment housed in a shaft for raising and lowering people or things to different levels.
  • Flashlight (US) – Torch (UK): a portable battery-powered electric lamp.

Topic 6: Free topic

Do you find these topics boring or uninteresting? Don’t worry. Dilo gives you the opportunity to choose your own topic for a conversation class.

Think of some vocabulary you would like to learn related to your topic and send us some information about it with the subject «Free topic». We are sure your ideas will be very good 😁