Last week's blog post was a guide to deductive reasoning. This post builds on it, so take a minute to read or re-read it. Continue when it's fresh in your mind.
Scoring highly in a speaking test involves stating your reasoning very clearly. Imagine you disagree with someone. You'd have to be very clear and logical when you explain your point, much more so than if someone agrees with you. Let's keep that mindset and go through some sample speaking test answers. This week's focus is using deductive logic.
The first question is relatively fun and straightforward:
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere, let's see... I suppose I'd go to Morocco. The architecture there is supposed to be great. I was reading about it on a travel website. The pictures look amazing! I think it's good for travelers to see places that are totally different from where they live. I live in Melbourne, Australia. Everything looks either very modern or old and British. It's totally different from Morocco's vibrant north-African style. So, if I could travel anywhere, I think the best place would be Morocco.
Let's inspect this argument:
A) somewhere totally different = B) a good place to travel; and
C) Morocco = A) somewhere totally different, so
C) Morocco = B) a good place to travel.
That is a valid argument.* [See NOTE below]
Now let's tackle a global business question:
How can global business leaders contribute to the good governance of nations?
That's a tough question because business leaders are focused on profit. That's what business is for. But everyone wants to live in a safe, stable country, and good governance leads to a safe, stable country, so business people should support the government. But how? I suppose the first step is just to pay taxes! Governments need money, and business people have money, so business people can give the government what it needs. But so often, they don't. There are so many examples, just google it. So, it's simple. Just pay taxes!
This has two deductive arguments. The first one:
- Everyone wants to live in a safe, stable country,
- and good governance leads to a safe, stable country,
- so business people should support the government.
And, the second one:
- Governments need money,
- and business people have money,
- so business people can give the government what it needs.
Finally, it ends with an axe-point ending, "Just pay taxes!"
So, as you approach discussions, meetings and speaking tests, be mindful of your logic. Practice this style in your lessons. It's easy to understand, but not so easy to do in practice.
* NOTE: You can reorder the premises and still have a valid argument, e.g., A = B, and C = B, so C = A.
A) A good place to travel = B) somewhere totally different; and
C) Morocco = B) somewhere totally different; so
C) Morocco = A) a good place to travel.