This activity will help you prepare for ESOL speaking examinations and give short, informal presentations. You will be able to hear real ESOL learners trying out the activities, and compare your speaking with theirs. In this activity, Iwona and Kelly talk about money.


Task 1 - plan your talk

Now you’re going to prepare a talk entitled;

"Having a lot of money to spend doesn’t always make you happy."

Before you start, think about:

-   how money can help you to lead a happy life

-   things you can enjoy doing without spending money

-   other things that can make you happy

(From Cambridge ESOL Speaking & Listening Level 1 Past Paper 9)

You can make written notes, but don’t spend more than 2 minutes preparing them.

You can use your mobile phone to record yourself speaking. If you think you could improve, you can record yourself again.

Task 2 - Iwona and Kelly

Task 3 - have you improved?

Now try recording yourself doing the same talk one more time. Think about what you said the first time, and use expressions and ideas from the two talks you have heard.

Compare your final talk with the first one you recorded. Can you notice any improvements?

Compare your final talk with the first one you recorded, and think about these questions;

  • Is your pronunciation the same, better or worse?
  • Is your grammar the same, better or worse?
  • Is your vocabulary the same, better or worse?

If you answered ‘better’ to all 3 questions, well done! If you didn’t, which areas do you want to work on further?



‘Having a lot of money to spend doesn’t always make you happy’.

That is true, and the best example is Scrooge the main character written by Charles Dickens. He had a lot of money but it didn’t make him happy.

Because having money doesn’t make us happy, but sharing this money with other people, yes this is the thing which can make us happy. When we are, when we can help other people whether they are poor or just members of our family, to be useful for them with this money, this can make us happy.

And also money to earn enough money for living can make us feel secure, which is a kind of happiness. When we can afford for just a comfortable life and when we can give education to our children and to care for our elderly, this makes us happy and secure.

But there are a lot of things we can enjoy doing without money and they really can make us happy. One of the things is voluntary work in the hospice or in a care home or just to help our neighbour. It doesn’t require any money. It requires our time, attention and our love. And to share love is the biggest happiness in the world. Also to play with our children, to talk to them, to spend time with them, to help them do their homework can also make us happy. (Although sometimes it can be terrible!) Because we can feel useful, important.

There are many other  things that can make us happy,

but the main thing is to share love with our friends, family, and neighbours. Only this can really make us happy.


Money is a touchy subject.

Have you ever heard about the proverb which says that

Money can’t buy you happiness? I don’t completely agree with this proverb. The fact is nowadays we need money to live,

Me need money to buy food, to pay our bills, to study, for almost everything - not everything - but almost everything we need money.

It’s not what you can buy with your money which makes you happy. For example, some people they can afford everything with their money. They can buy whatever they want but they are depressed or oppressed. Fortunately, we don’t need to have money to have things like love, friends, family, good health.

You can spend time with your family without having money and be happy.

For example the time I spend with my mum is really precious for me, and I don’t pay for that, but to reach my mum’s house I need money - at least for the ticket.

The kind of relationship you have with money can make you - or not - happy. If money is the most important for you, definitely you’ll have to deal with issues regarding money, and you’ll link every aspect of your life with money.


  • Did you agree with Iwona and Kelly?
  • How important is money to you? Can it "buy" you happiness?
1 vote

I heared both conversation about money .i like kelly conversation because its slowly and clear speaking .we are understand very easily.

0 votes

I just heard both conversations and I think in my opinion that Kelly's is a bit better than Iwona. though the two girls did really well at speaking I think that Iwona missed the point at the end of her speech; well its just my comment!!!

Greetings from México!

0 votes

I would like to add as well that this site is very useful

keep the good work :D

0 votes

Thanks Diego and Jaspal. Two people prefer Kelly's presentation so far. What does everyone else think?

0 votes

Money is one of the important things in life, but it's not the only commodity needed. It is one of the structures of living. I think a healthy mind with good will is the most important thing in life, much more important than money itself.