But, how are we going to discuss certain issues if we don't have sufficient information / knowledge about what is going on around us? That's why most teachers would say "Read more books...you'll get interesting ideas from books" or "You should search some information on-line via search engines...you'll be amazed with what it can find for you."
Students tend to ignore it and they will just surf the internet for the sake of other interests - Facebook / Twitter / on-line games, so on and so forth. That's why when in a group discussion, they tend to minimize their point of view because of lack of ideas, information and even their prior knowledge is not even suitable for a certain discussion.
In MUET, there is no such thing as Good Topics or Bad Topics. The chosen topics are actually selected based on current issues that most of us are facing right now.
Booklet 7 (2012)
Electronic media like mobile phone, computer and electronic games has an impact on young people of today. What aspects of their lives are affected?
Discuss what aspects of a young person's life is most affected by electronic media
i) Study habits
ii) Daily habits
iii) Social relationship
iv) World view
Unfortunately, some students/candidates couldn't elaborate the above main points because they cannot find suitable reasons to support their points - lack of ideas, limited knowledge and prior knowledge about the topic. The worst thing that could happen during Task B is they could not fight for their own point : they are satisfied just by saying :
"I agree with you" "I disagree with you" "You are correct" - without any supporting details to support their stand or their point of view.
Not to mention those students who would write paragraph(s) in the two-minute-preparation session. They are not able to brainstorm ideas or to link from one point to another. This is quite sad and somehow it reflects the students' mind. I'm not blaming those poor students. I know there should be reasons for that; after all, we are not FOREIGNERS or ENGLISH MEN (some people I know did mention this!)
Let me help you by doing a brainstorming activity: (Just a quick one) - elaboration will be done just by looking at the points / sub points and try to relate everything as you talk to make it as a good start in Task A. The same method can be used in Task B, either you are focussing on your own points or others'. DON'T FORGET : Conclude your opinion / stand / p.o.v in Task A and B. (Please click on the picture)