A. Have a natural conversation with a partner about the pictures and the questions below.
1. Are you a good language learner?
2. Do you know anybody who has a gift for languages?
3. Do any of your friends have a flair for languages? Do you think you do? What do you have a flair for?
4. Which of your acquaintances has an ear for accents, and quickly picks up the accent of the speakers around?
5. Do you know anybody who is hopeless at learning languages?
6. Are you good at having spontaneous ideas and speaking off the cuff ?
7. What advice would you give to someone who is terrible at spelling?
8. Do you believe that everyone is naturally gifted and their talents should be celebrated?
9. What qualities does a born teacher have apart from kindness, compassion, a sense of humour and intuition?
10. What would you like to be outstandingly talented in?
11. Do you believe that only great teachers can produce brilliant students?
B. Monologue. Talk about the questions given.
1. Do you know the parents of a bright child or a gifted child? are they aware of their child's extraordinary abilities? Can you think of any celebrity who was a child prodigy? What are the pros and cons of being highly-gifted? Do you think highly-gifted children should go to special schools?
2. Are you skilful at sewing? Cooking? Painting? Playing a musical instrument? Writing? Craftwork? What do you excel in?
3. Do you know…any musically gifted person? Any highly talented person? An extremely promising person? An accomplished dancer? Tell us about them.
1. Should schools focus less on traditional notions of intelligence and take more account of each individual’s specific strengths?
2. What are you a dab hand at? What are you hopeless at? How do you make the most of your gifts?
3. Tell us about a whizz-kid you know.
Vocabulary and Useful Language
2. Gift: a special ability to do something. E.g. One of my neighbours has a gift for languages. She's also interested in politics and foreign cultures and wants to make a difference in the world. Like any good newspaper journalist, she has a nose for a good story.
3. Flair for something: a natural ability to do something well. Talent. E.g. He has a flair for languages.
4. I discovered that I have an ear for accents, and I quickly pick up (identify) the accent of the speakers around me.
5. hopeless: very bad (at something); with no ability or skill. E.g. I'm hopeless at science.
Master: to learn or understand sth completely: e.g. to master new skills / techniques. French was a language he had never mastered.
6. off the cuff: (of speaking, remarks, etc.) without previous thought or preparation. E.g. I'm just speaking off the cuff here—I haven't seen the results yet. An off-the-cuff remark. They posed (asked) some difficult questions to answer off the cuff. Watch this Youtube video.
8. Gifted: having a lot of natural ability or intelligence. E.g. A gifted musician/ sportswoman/ student.
hardwired: /ˌhɑːdˈwaɪəd/ (of a skill, quality or type of behaviour) present when you are born and not changing during your life Many aspects of morality appear to be hardwired in the brain. Anxiety is a hardwired response that everyone experiences. There is evidence that we are hardwired to be musical.
10. outstandingly: /aʊtˈstændɪŋli/ used to emphasize the good quality of something. E.g. outstandingly successful. Outstandingly beautiful gardens.
1. Brainy: very intelligent. E.g. He was a brainy student who didn't fit in socially.
2. Excel: (in / at sth / at doing sth) to be very good at doing sth: e.g. She has always excelled in foreign languages.
3. Promising: showing signs of being good or successful. E.g. He was voted the most promising new actor for his part in the movie. The weather doesn't look very promising. A promising athlete/player/student.
Accomplished: very good at a particular thing; having a lot of skills.
Joan Baez is a hugely talented songwriter, who writes with honesty and wit and her rhymes are set to absolutely superb music.
He is the fastest runner in his school; at 15 he is a highly promising athlete, perhaps Olympic material.
He is an exceptionally gifted violinist with extraordinary musical perception.
He is a very promising talent and has proven many great achievements since he started playing tennis.
She is a remarkably intelligent athlete, fully engaged in important issues of public policy, and willing to listen and learn as she seeks to make the world a better place.
I would say that he is outstandingly talented in artistic ways, also very talented in drawing.
Arty: seeming or wanting to be very artistic or interested in the arts: e.g. She hangs out with the arty types she met at drama school.
A competent driver/lawyer/skier
An experienced journalist/manager/professional
An expert cook/gardener/skier
A proficient horsewoman/pilot/typist. Proficient: (competente) able to do sth well because of training and practice: She’s proficient in several languages. He’s proficient at his job. I’m a reasonably proficient driver.
A skilled craftsman/technician/worker (Hábil)
A skilful card player/diplomat/footballer (habilidoso)
A strong swimmer
2. I love cooking and socialising with friends. We have barbeques and parties in the summer. I'm a dab hand at DIY and can fix anything mechanical.
I'm an ace at planning and management (I even scare myself sometimes, I'm so organised! ), just not so good at having spontaneous ideas, though.
I'm a strong team leader with the ability to motivate others.
I'm not a computer expert at all.
I'm afraid I could never be a businessman, I don't have a head for figures.
In some areas I am hopeless but I do have an eye for specific details.
Underperform: to not be as successful as was expected. E.g. these students are at risk of underperforming. Why are these boys underperforming at school?I have never been good with my hands.
I don't shine in sports or dancing or singing.
3. whizz-kid: a person who is very good and successful at something, especially at a young age. E.g. financial whizz-kids.
Elias James Corey was a whizzkid from Methuen who wrote his doctoral thesis in four weeks, earned a PhD at age 22 and was made a full professor at 27. At 62, he won an award that friends and colleagues said was years, even decades, overdue: the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.