Monthly Archives: January 2015

No More Playing Hooky

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C1 – Advanced

Should attendance in class be mandatory, or should students be allowed to play hooky as long as they can keep their grades up?

Technology and financial uncertainty are two factors that have changed the methods of calling the roll in universities and colleges across America, all in the hopes of tuition well spent, student loans paid and higher graduation rates.

Read on, and weigh in with the issue.

Cracking Down on Skipping Class

Discuss:

1. What is meant by “playing hooky”? Have you ever played hooky?
2. Is attendance an accurate predictor of success in university?
3. What are the consequences of skipping classes to students? To parents? To the colleges and universities?
4. Can you suggest other ways of getting students to class on time and driving down absenteeism?

‘American Sniper’ Stirs Debate

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B2 – Upper intermediate

“American Sniper” is an Oscar- nominated film based on a true story of a US Navy SEAL member, Chris Kyle. The movie mainly depicts how a soldier loses himself emotionally and mentally in war and struggles to rebuild himself.

With Oscar Nomination, ‘American Sniper’ Stirs Debate

Discuss:

1. Do you like watching movies about war?
2. What mainly are the common messages of war movies?
3. How do you feel about soldiers whose work demands giving one’s life?
4. Has your country ever been to war?

Boosting your Happiness

C1 – Advanced

Every human  in the planet wants to be happy. This is considered the ultimate goal anywhere in the world.  Watch the video and read the article below to know more about the effect of happiness and unhappiness  in life.

7 ways to boost your happiness

Discuss:

1. What is your opinion about the study and advice in achieving happiness?
2. Have you done any of the practical suggestions mentioned in the article? Which ones are you currently practicing?
3. In your opinion, what other activities can help a person’s well-being?

8 Foods to Avoid Bad Breath

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C2 – Proficient

We all have different preferences, especially when it comes to food. Depending on one’s location and culture, the list of choices one can have is virtually endless.

Here are some of the world’s worst, when it comes to its foul breath-inducing properties, according to science.

THE 8 FOODS THAT GIVE YOU THE WORST BREATH, RANKED WITH THE POWER OF SCIENCE

Discuss:

1. Did your favorite food/ingredient make the list?
2. What are your favorite types of food?
3. Describe some of the best meals you’ve ever had.

London: The Divorce Capital of the World

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C1 – Advanced

Divorce is becoming very common these days. Many couples are deciding to split for a lot of different reasons.

Click on the link below to view the article:

London: still the divorce capital of the world

Discuss:

1. What is your stand in this issue?
2. In your own words, explain what England has in store for those who would like to get a divorce but are financially weak?
3. Are you in favor of divorce or do you believe couples should stay with each other no matter what?
4. Are divorces common in your country?

Eating Disorders Affect Men Too

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C1 – Advanced

We commonly relate eating disorders to women. However, over the last 15 years, this has changed. The number of men suffering from eating disorders has significantly increased to 27%.

Are more men getting eating disorders?

Discuss:

1. Are you aware of the eating disorders mentioned in the article?
2. What do you think causes these disorders?
3. What can we do to help people battling these conditions?

What’s your Dawn Wall?

C1 – Advanced

Imagine a 3,000-foot (900-meter) high rock formation. Now picture free climbing, or climbing up this gargantuan natural structure with just your hands and feet. Impossible? Not anymore. The Dawn Wall, an imposing rock structure in Yosemite Park, is possibly the world’s toughest free climb, and in 2015, Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell were the first free climbers to make it all the way up.

Sometimes challenges in life feel uncannily similar to a steep climb. Have you scaled your own Dawn Wall lately?

Discuss:

1. What “projects” are you currently taking on? Which one seems like a climb up the Dawn Wall?
2. In the video, Kevin Jorgeson is described as someone following his bliss. What does it mean to “follow one’s bliss”? Are you following your own bliss?
3. What qualities should a person possess to succeed in life?
4. How do you approach life’s difficulties?
5. What recent personal success are you most proud of? How did you celebrate this achievement?

Western Diet Bad for Human Health, Environment

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Western diet is usually high in processed sugar, fat, oil and meat. By eating these foods people begin to gain more weight. More people are adopting this kind of diet. Find out why, according to a study, western diet is bad for human health and the environment.

Western Diet Bad for Human Health, Environment

Discuss:

1. Is this phenomenon also happening in your country?
2. Have you adapted to the western diet of fast food restaurants?
3. What is the relationship between our diet and the environment?
4. What can we do to keep our children healthy?

Zebras and their Stripes

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C1 – Advanced

Have you also wondered why zebras have stripes? The article below shows a very interesting reason behind the animal’s skin pattern and its purpose.

Why Are Zebras Stripy?

Discuss:

1. In your own words, explain the study and why zebras have stripes.
2. What other animal facts do you know of?
3. Do you have pets? What are your preferences when it comes to animals?
4. Would you say that the number of endangered animals are increasing?
5. Does your country have a national animal?

Censorship and Freedom of Speech

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B2 – Upper intermediate

The world was shocked  when a Paris publication was attacked and resulted in the death of 12 people. This particular event leads a debate towards freedom of speech.

Hollande Vows to Protect All Faiths; Muslims Protest Hebdo Reprinting

Discuss:

1. What is your opinion about freedom of speech?
2. Is it dangerous to be aggressive when you are a member of the press?
3. How do limits play a role in freedom of expression?