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  1. At a Conference (Formal)


Study the necessary words:

to hold a conference = проводить конференцию
expert panel meeting = совещание специалистов
opening session = открытие конференции
chairman = председатель
to take minutes = вести протокол
items of the agenda = вопросы повестки дня
to present a scientific paper = представить научный доклад
speaker = докладчик
to take the floor/ to address the meeting = брать слово, выступать
to put a question to the vote = поставить вопрос на голосование
to solve the problem = решить проблему
to decide the question = решить вопрос
urgent/ pressing problem top priority/ controversial problem = проблема, не терпящая отлагательств = важнейший/ спорный вопрос
on behalf of = от имени


Read and try to reproduce the Chairman’s Opening Speech:

“Ladies and Gentlemen! I declare the Conference open.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee and in my own name I wish to welcome the guests and participants of the Conference to St.Petersburg!

The first matter is to read the agenda and to explain briefly the work to be done and problems to be discussed: ... I wish you every success.

I am very happy to be able to introduce to you our honorary guests and our speakers. Professor Jones is the first to take the floor....”


How to lead the discussion:

1. Getting started.

Okay, are we ready to start?

Is everyone ready to begin?

Shall we wait for anybody?


2. Introducing the subject

The next item of our agenda is ... We need to discuss ... Basically we have two alternatives. We can either ... or ...
company English classes   the paper work company cars a job vacancy employ a teacher   buy another computer rent them promote someone send the staff to a language school recruit a secretary buy them contact a recruitment agency


3. Asking for an opinion

What do you think of that?

How do you feel about it?

What’s your opinion of that?

Have you got any views on this?

What’s your reaction to this?


4. Giving an opinion

  In my opinion, Personally, I think It seems to me As far as I’m concerned As I see it, I believe/ suppose I don’t think*   the Government should we should there should spend less money on defence be private schools nationalize telecommunications be compulsory military service invest in new forms of energy spend more on education increase salaries to our deputies be state-supported hospitals take part in peaceful negotiations

* Mind that the negative form is used in the first part of the complex sentence


5. Agreeing/Disagreeing

That’s right./You are right. Great. Let’s do that I think so, too. I agree with you. I completely agree with you. That’s a good idea. I don’t really agree with you. I’m afraid I don’t agree with you because ... Yes, that may be true, but ... Well, I can see your point, but ... I’m sorry, but it’s a waste of time/ money. I’m not sure about that.


6. Encouraging everyone to participate

So, would you like to comment on what John said?

What do you think about Mary’s point?

Do you have anything to add?

What do you suggest?

  Why don’t we Shall we Probably, we could improve our English? cancel the Conference then? allow people to smoke in the building. invite staff of all levels of the organization? hold the meeting once a week? ask for volunteers.


7. Clarifying

Formal: -I’m very sorry, but I’m afraid I didn’t quite understand your last point.

I would appreciate it if you could explain I again.

- Would you be so kind as to repeat your last point?

Neutral - Would you mind explaining your last point, please?

- Could you please explain that again?

Informal - Excuse me?

- Please, explain that.

Highly informal - What are you talking about?

- What did you say?

- What?


8. Dividing responsibilities

Who is going to be responsible for that?

Could you deal with that?

Can you take care of that?


9. Reaching agreement and summing up

Do we agree that ... ?

So, to sum up, we have decided to ... .

I know you’re not going to agree with me but we have no choice.

We can discuss it later when we get the necessary information.


10. Keeping the discussion moving

Perhaps we should go on to the next point.

We have only ten minutes left, so we’d better move on.


Ex. 5 Read the essay and try to:

1 mark the points where a new paragraph begins.

2 write out verbs expressing opinions.

3 underline all link words.

4 render it in Russian.


It is often claimed that nuclear energy is something we cannot do without. We live in a consumer society where there is an enormous demand for commercial products of all kinds. Moreover, an increase in industrial production is considered to be one solution to the problem of mass unemployment. Such an increase supposes an abundant and cheap energy supply. Many people believe that nuclear energy provides an inexhaustable and economically realistic source of power and that it is therefore essential for an industrially developing society. There are a number of other advantages in the use of nuclear energy. Firstly, nuclear power, barring accidents, is clean. A further advantage is that a nuclear power station may be run and maintained by relatively few technical and administrative staff. The nuclear reactor represents an enormous step in our scientific evolution and, whatever an anti-nuclear lobby says, it is naive to expect a return to more primitive sources of fuel. However, opponents of nuclear power stations pose a direct threat not only to the environment but also to civil liberties. Furthermore, it is questionable whether nuclear power is a cheap source of energy. There have been very costly accidents in the USA and in the Soviet Union. The possibility of increases in the cost of uranium in addition to the cost of greater safety provisions could price nuclear power out of the market. In the long run, environmentalists argue, nuclear energy wastes valuable resources and disturbs the ecology to an extent which could bring about the extinction of the human race. Thus, if we wish to survive, we cannot afford nuclear energy. In spite of the case against nuclear energy outlined above, nuclear energy programs are proliferating. Such a proliferation assumes a continual growth in industrial production and consumer demands. However, it is doubtful whether this growth will or can continue. Having weighed up the arguments on both sides, it seems there are good economic and ecological reasons for sources of energy other than nuclear power.


1. Write the minutes of the discussion:

The subject (item of the agenda)

Advantages/ arguments for

Disadvantages/ arguments against


2. Try to practice “leading a discussion”. Give your opinions and ask for others’ views on every important statement.

3. Act the Conference “On the Uses of Nuclear Power”.

Roles to perform:

The Chairman

Those who support nuclear energy uses

Their opponents

Honorary guests

*You are expected and welcome to present your own opinions and arguments on the subject.

Improve your interpreting skills:

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