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Q. Where is your hometown?
A: My hometown is in Dong Nai province, which is located to the North of Ho Chi Minh City. Whenever I want to go back to my hometown from Ho Chi Minh City, it usually takes me about 2 hours to travel by motorbike. I am pretty proud of my hometown for being a famous place for a plethora of fruits such as grapefruit, apple, pear, etc.
Q. What was it like growing up there?
Q. Has it changed much since you were a child?
Q. What do you like most about living there?
Q. What kinds of things can visitors to your hometown go and see?
Q. Do you think you will live there when you are older?
Q. Do you have many friends? [Why/Why not?]
A: Definitely yes. I would say I am an extrovert and a social butterfly. So whenever I go to a place, I always introduce myself and make friends. Actually, I enjoy having a lot of friends, since I can widen my horizons from talking with them.
Q. How often do you go out with friends? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Tell me about your best friend at school.
Q. How friendly are you with your neighbours? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Which is more important to you, friends or family? [Why?]
Q. Did your parents choose your name(s)?
A: Yes, actually, my Mom was the person who named me. My Mom is a Literature teacher, so she named me after the season that I was born in, which was Spring. I must say that I find my name kind of unique and easy to remember at the same time, so I am incredibly proud of that.
Q. How did your parents choose your name(s)?
Q. Does your name have any special meaning?
Q. Is your name common or unusual in your country?
Q. If you could change your name, would you? [Why/Why not?]
4. Food and cooking
Q. What sorts of food do you like eating most? [Why?]
A: I would say I am a real sucker for Vietnamese traditional food such as braised pork and eggs or ‘canh chua’, which can be translated into Vietnamese as ‘sour soup’. In fact, I find them immensely appetizing when being eaten with rice due to the savory taste and distinct smell that can only be found in our national cuisines. I must say I have tried a plethora of dishes, however, traditional Vietnamese food is still the best to me.
Q. Who normally does the cooking in your home?
Q. Do you watch cookery programmes on TV? [Why/Why not?]
Q. In general, do you prefer eating out or eating at home? [Why?]
Q. What type of photos do you like taking? [Why/Why not?]
A: Well, I am a big fan of taking food photos. As a food lover, I always feel a need to capture the beautifully decorated dishes that I have tried in my life. In fact, I also have a photo collection of foods, and I think foods just look so perfect on photos with diverse colors. I love looking at them as much as I love savoring them!
Q. What do you do with the photos you take?
Q. When you visit other places, do you take photos or buy postcards? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you like people taking photos of you? [Why/Why not?]
Q. How popular are bicycles in your hometown? [Why?]
A: To be honest, I don’t think bicycles are widely used in my hometown. In fact, I think whenever I go on the road, I think I can only see bicycles making up around 5% of the total amount of vehicles. In my hometown, this means of transportation is used mostly by high school students only.
Q. How often do you ride a bicycle? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you think that bicycles are suitable for all ages? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What are the advantages of a bicycle compared to a car? [Why?]
7. Giving gifts
Q. When do people give gifts or presents in your country?
A: Almost all year around I would say. Generally speaking, I think Vietnamese frequently give presents to each other whenever they visit others’ house, which is due to the social courtesy. Besides, we also give gifts to each other on birthdays, and festivals such as Tet, Mid-Autumn, etc.
Q. Do you ever take a gift when you visit someone in their home? [Why/Why not?]
Q. When did you last receive a gift? [What was it?]
Q. Do you enjoy looking for gifts for people? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you play any games? [Why/Why not?]
A: Yes, I am a big fan of games actually. Especially, games in mobile phone have been my favorite leisure activity ever since I was around 12 years old. Even though I am not addicted to them, I still find these games incredibly thrilling and beneficial in terms of learning a second language. In fact, most of my English vocabulary was acquired from the games that I have played.
Q. How do people learn to play games in your country?
Q. How do people learn to play games in your country?
Q. How often do you make telephone calls? [Why/Why not?]
A: I would say I don’t make phone calls frequently. Honestly, ever since I got a smart phone, it has been easier for me to just use the instant message applications instead of making the calls. In fact, I think I only make phone calls when I’m on the road or when I need to get information fast.
Q. Who do you spend the most time talking to on the telephone? [Why?]
Q. When do you think you’ll next make a telephone call? [Why?]
Q. Do you sometimes prefer to send a text message instead of telephoning? [Why/Why not?]
10. Your friends
Q. Do you prefer to have one particular friend or a group of friends? [Why?]
A: If I have to choose, I will definitely opt for a group of friends. Needless to say, friends are loyal pillars of support that everyone will need in their lives. Therefore, if you have a group of friend, you may receive more help from different types of people, who can be helpful in different situations in your life.
Q. What do you like doing most with your friend/s?
Q. Do you think it’s important to keep in contact with friends you knew as a child? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What makes a friend into a good friend?
11. Musical instruments
Q. Which instrument do you like listening to most? [Why?]
A: I would say that I am pretty fond of piano sound. In fact, I find this sound pretty relaxing and melancholy. Especially, whenever it rains, listening to piano helps me to unwind and let all the stress fall behind.
Q. Have you ever learned to play a musical instrument? [Which one?]
Q. Do you think children should learn to play a musical instrument at school? [Why/Why not?]
Q. How easy would it be to learn to play an instrument without a teacher? [Why?]
12. Living place
Q. Where do you live?
Q. What kind of place is it?
Q. What’s the most interesting part of your town/village?
Q. What kind of jobs do the people in your town/village do?
Q. Would you say it’s a good place to live? (why?)
A: Definitely yes. As you may know, Ho Chi Minh City is the economic central of Vietnam, so there are plenty of job and education opportunities there. Besides, it has a vibrant nightlife, and I feel like despite its small size, you cannot explore all of Ho Chi Minh City in just 1 or 2 months.
Q. Tell me about the kind of accommodation you live in?
A: Well, I am living in an apartment, and I must say it is exactly what I have always dreamt of. My apartment is located in District 2, which is just beside the central part of Ho Chi Minh City. It is pretty simple with furniture in pink and gold. Moreover, living in the apartment, I always feel at ease knowing that they have a professional security system to protect me.
Q. How long have you lived there?
Q. What do you like about living there?
Q. What sort of accommodation would you most like to live in?
Q. What’s your favourite colour? [Why?]
A: Well, I am a huge fan of pink. In fact, I feel like the color is gorgeous and everything in pink will be a lot more adorable. Interestingly, I always feel more motivated using things in pink including my laptop, backpack, mobile phone, pens, etc.
Q. Do you like the same colours now as you did when you were younger? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What can you learn about a person from the colours they like?
Q. Do any colours have a special meaning in your culture?
Q. Do you like to have flowers in your home? [Why/Why not?]
A: Absolutely. In fact, I must say I am a real sucker for flowers. On days that I have free time going to the market, I always purchase some flowers to put in the vases around my house. I am not sure why but whenever I look at my house decorated with flowers, I feel like I can recharge my batteries immediately after a working day.
Q. Where would you go to buy flowers? [Why?]
Q. On what occasions would you give someone flowers?
Q. Are flowers important in your culture? [Why/Why not?]
Q. How well do you know the people who live next door to you?
A: Not much actually. I believe that because I am an introvert, it is pretty hard for me to spark a conversation with strangers. Besides, I work night shift and I’m not usually at home when my neighbors are. However, I think in the future I may find an opportunity to introduce myself to them due to the social courtesy.
Q. How often do you see them? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What kinds of problem do people sometimes have with their neighbours?
Q. How do you think neighbours can help each other?
17. Your favourite place
Q. What place do you most like to visit? [Why?]
A: Well, I would say any place with stunning ocean views such as Da Nang, Vung Tau, etc. Especially, I love going to the seashore in the morning to watch sunrise, feel the sand under my feet and absorb the atmosphere. Besides, I am also a real sucker for seafood and there is no better place for you to enjoy this fresh ocean delicacy besides these places.
Q. How often do you visit this place? [Why?]
Q. Why do you like it so much?
Q. Is it popular with many other people? [Why?]
Q. Has it changed very much since you first went there? [In what way?]
Q. Do you have any hobbies or interests? [What are they?]
A: Yes of course, I love swimming in the morning. Before picking up this hobby, I used to be sleepy and tired during the day. However, after trying to wake up sooner to swim in the morning for about 30 minutes every day, I find myself much more energetic and focused when it comes to working.
Q. How did you become interested in (whatever hobby/ interest the candidate mentions)?
Q. What is there to do in your free time in (candidate’s hometown/village)?
Q. How do you usually spend your holidays?
Q. Is there anywhere you would particularly like to visit? [Why?]
Q. How often do you watch television? [Why/Why not?]
A: I don’t watch TV frequently, since I don’t have a TV in my rented room. Therefore, I only watch TV when there are crucial football matches. Besides, I don’t feel the need to watch TV because we have Youtube nowadays, so it is easier to watch any show on the phone without waiting for the broadcast schedule.
Q. Which television channel do you usually watch? [Why?]
Q. Do you enjoy the advertisements on television? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you think most programmes on television are good? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you prefer relaxing at home or going out in the evening? [Why?]
A: Most of the time I prefer to stay at home rather than go out. I would say I am a coach potato and being at home after a working day allows me to chill out and blow off some steam. In fact, I only hang out with my friends at night when there are birthday parties or when I need my friends to confide in when any problem arises in my life.
Q. When you go out for an evening, what do you like to do?
Q. How popular is this with other people in your country?
Q. Is there any kind of entertainment you do not like? [Why/Why not?]
21. Newspapers and Magazines
Q. Which magazines and newspapers do you read? [Why?]
A: Well, I guess I usually read magazines for women. They are pretty inspiring with some stories about stunning and successful women all around Vietnam. Besides, there are some sections for tips in terms of beauty, cooking, shopping, etc. which are useful to me sometimes.
Q. What kinds of article are you most interested in? [Why?]
Q. Have you ever read a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language? [When/Why?]
Q. Do you think reading a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language is a good way to learn the language? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What kinds of thing make you laugh?
A: It’s pretty easy for me to laugh, but I would say I usually laugh every time I watch animal funny clips on the Internet. To be honest, I’m a real sucker for animals, and they always bring the smile to my face. Therefore, whenever I feel stressful, watching these clips is a quick and easy way for me to recharge my batteries.
Q. Do you like making other people laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you think it’s important for people to laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Is laughing the same as feeling happy, do you think? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you often wear makeup?
A: Not really often, I just do makeup when hanging out with friends or going to events such as weddings, parties, etc. I find it fairly tiring to wear makeup every morning, since it takes a huge amount of time to do. Moreover, when I come home completely disheveled after a working day, I still need to spend time removing it.
Q. What does wearing makeup mean to you?
Q. Do you give makeup as a gift?
Q. What do you think when you see a man wearing makeup?
24. Daily Routine
Q. What would you like to change in your daily routine?
A: When it comes to changing my routine, sleeping early is what I have been trying to do for a long time. I think I have problems with focusing and my attention span is pretty short. However, I read on the Internet that this is the symptoms of not having enough sleep. So if I could change something, I would sleep before 11PM everyday.
Q. Are all your days the same?
Q. Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend.
Q. What is the balance of work/study and free time in your normal day?
25. Keeping in contact with people
Q. How do you usually contact your friends? [Why?]
A: Well, I just casually talk to them during the day using instant message applications such as Facebook Messenger, Zalo, etc. I think these applications are free and fun with different smiley. Besides, since everybody is on the go all the time nowadays, I feel like sending message is a way to still keep in contact with others, and I don’t think it will interrupt their work.
Q. Do you prefer to contact different people in different ways? [Why?]
Q. Do you find it easy to keep in contact with friends and family? [Why/Why not?]
Q. In your country, did people in the past keep in contact in the same ways as they do today? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What would you suggest a visitor should see and do in your country?
A: The first thing is to try all the food we have here in Vietnam. I would say Vietnamese food is pretty balanced and healthy with diverse ingredients. In fact, each area has different types of food and distinct ways of seasoning. Besides, you can easily buy food here since there are eateries to sell street food and restaurants almost everywhere on the street.
Q. Are there any traditional arts or music you would recommend?
Q. Tell me about the kind of foreign visitors or tourists who go to your country.
Q. In what ways has tourism changed your country?
Q. How did you reach the examination centre?
Q. Do you like travelling?
A: I love travelling, and I think it is an escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. In fact, travelling allows me to widen my horizons and get to know the culture diversity within Vietnam and around the world.
Q. How do you usually travel?
Q. What are the most common types of transportation run on the streets in your country?
Q. Which types of transportation do people in your country often use to move?
Q. Tell me about the most important festival in your country.
Q. What special food and activities are connected with this festival?
Q. What do you most enjoy about it?
Q. Do you think festivals are important for a country? [Why?]
A: It is undoubtedly a yes for me. I would say celebrating festivals is a way to preserve the culture of Vietnam. I absolutely believe that without festivals, some traditional customs and rituals would be forgotten. Besides, these events also make a huge contribution to the profit of tourism industry for a country.
29. Traffic where you live
Q. How do most people travel to work where you live?
A: I would say motorbike is the most prevalent means of transportation in Vietnam. I think this is because the infrastructure in Vietnam is more suitable for people to commute by motorbikes. Besides, it is easier to travel by this means of transportation when there are traffic congestions, which occur pretty often in big cities in Vietnam.
Q. What traffic problems are there in your area? [Why is that?]
Q. How do traffic problems affect you?
Q. How would you reduce the traffic problems in your area?
Q. Do you have a large family or a small family?
Q. Can you tell me something about them?
Q. How much time do you manage to spend with members of your family?
Q. What sorts of things do you like to do together?
Q. Do you get on well with your family? [Why?/why not]
A: I have to admit that we don’t really see eye to eye frequently. For example, in terms of appearance, my family members would prefer girls having traditional long hair, wearing graceful feminine attire and always showing charming smiles on the face. As for me, I would definitely go for short hair and casual clothes. However, in spite of all the conflict, they are still my family and I love them.
Q. Did you go to a secondary/high school near to where you lived? [Why/Why not?]
Q. What did you like about your secondary/high school? [Why?]
A: Growing up, I attended Vung Tau high school in my hometown. It is among the best schools available in the city. It takes me 15 minutes to travel from home to school. Reminiscing about the time studying there, I cannot be thankful enough for the dedicated teachers and staffs who strived their best to support academic pursuit of students.
Q. Tell me about anything you didn’t like at your school.
Q. How do you think your school could be improved? [Why/Why not?]
Q. How do you usually spend your weekends? [Why?]
Q. Which is your favourite part of the weekend? [Why?]
Q. Do you think your weekends are long enough? [Why/Why not?]
Q. How important do you think it is to have free time on the weekends? [Why?]
A: I think it is of utter importance to be free on the weekends. Especially for full time workers who spend approximately 40 hours sitting at the office desk, weekends are necessary for them to connect with friends and to refresh themselves.
Q. What types of music do you like to listen to? [Why?]
Q. At what times of day do you like to listen to music? [Why?]
A: I like to listen to fast-beat music in the morning, especially during exercising. It helps me boost my mood and concentration for a long working day. At night times, I prefer to let myself blow off some steam with chill and slow-beat tunes for a better sleep.
Q. Did you learn to play a musical instrument when you were a child? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you think all children should learn to play a musical instrument? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Do you enjoy dancing? [Why/Why not?]
A: Yes absolutely. I’m not a professional in the field, but I love moving my body along with the beat of a song. Dancing removes stiffness of our bodies and brings flexibility into our physical movement. It is also a tremendously helpful method to release stress and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Q. Has anyone ever taught you to dance? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Tell me about any traditional dancing in your country.
Q. Tell me about some popular dancing in your country?
Q. Do you think that traditional dancing will be popular in the future? [Why/Why not?]
Q. Are you working or studying?
Q. How long have you been working for this company?
Q. What are your job responsibilities?
A: I am currently working as a full time staff for a financial services company. My duty is to assist customers in their home loan application. It involves a great deal of administration work, document sorting and mathematical thinking.
Q. What do you like about work you do?
Q. What do you want to change or improve in it?
36. Birthday celebration
Q. What is your date of birth?
Q. When was the last time you celebrated your birthday?
A: I celebrated my 23rd birthday just two months ago with my boyfriend. We were on a tight budget but he managed to secretly buy me a cake and a charming bracelet with stones. The bracelet was made of thin braided parachute cord and three stones were attached on it. The stones were said to attract positivity and confidence into life. It was the most meaningful gift I have ever received.
Q. Describe a birthday party you have attended?
Q. Do you celebrate your family members' birthday?
Q. What types of programmes do you find funny on TV?
Q. What types of programmes are most popular in your country? Why do you think this is the case?
Q. What kind of things make you laugh? Why?
Q. Do you like to make people laugh?
A: Absolutely yes. I think it is easier for you to make friends or get closer to someone by making them laugh. Besides, whenever I want to leave a good impression on somebody, I will find ways to make them happy and laugh. I believe that laughing is pretty crucial in our life, and bringing the smile to others’ face makes me over the moon.
Q. Do you think it is important to have a sense of humour?
Q. Tell me about the countryside outside your town/city.
Q. Would you like to live in the countryside or a metropolitan city in the future? [Why?]
A: I think 7 to 8 years later I may come back to my hometown and live in the countryside. To be honest, I am not keen on the hustle and bustle of the city life. Besides, I love gardening, and living in the countryside will allow me to have a garden. If you live in a metropolitan city, it will be pretty difficult to find the place for gardening.
Q. Why do some people move to a city from a rural area? Do you know someone who did so?
Q. Do you enjoy visiting large cities or small villages? [Why?]
Q. Is being late acceptable in your culture?
A: Absolutely not. I would say being on time is a basic social courtesy in Vietnam. If you are late, that means you do not respect the person with whom you have the appointment. However, I feel like the vast majority of youngsters nowadays don’t keep this custom anymore.
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Q. What type of excuses do you think are alright for lateness?
Q. How do you feel when someone is late for an appointment with you?
Q. Do you dream much at night?
A: I dream about once or twice a week, so I think I dream pretty often. Especially, when I’m worried about a test or any upcoming event, I will definitely have nightmares at night. However, when I’m exhilarated, I will usually dream of illogical events like cotton candy world or talking animals, etc.
Q. Do you often remember your dreams?
Q. Do you think we can learn anything from dreams?
Q. Do people in your country talk about their dreams?
Q. Do you think that dreams can come true?
Q. Do you like recording and hearing your (own) voice?
A: Definitely yes. In fact, I record myself talking English every weekend as a diary. I will summarize my whole week and what I have learnt during the week as a way to improve my English. Actually, I find it pretty helpful since I can hear my voice and correct it the way I want next time.
Q. Do any members of your family have a similar voice (or, similar voices)?
Q. Has your voice ever changed? (When?)
Q. Do you walk very much?
A: Yeah, I’m incredibly glad that I have the opportunity to walk a lot during the day. In fact, since there is no elevator in my workplace, I frequently go up and down the stairs during the day at work. Besides, the parking lot is pretty far from my company, hence, I also walk because of that.
Q. Do you walk more often now than (you did) in the past?
Q. Do you think people will be walking more in the future?
Q. What do you think are the benefits of walking?
EXERCISE: Try to answer the remaining questions yourself using at least one new word provided for each answer.
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